An estimation of osteochondrodysplasia prevalence in Australian Scottish Fold cats: a retrospective study using VetCompass Data

Brandon D Velie, Tracey Milden, Hannah Miller, Bianca Haase
BMC Vet Res. 2023 Nov 29;19(1):252. doi: 10.1186/s12917-023-03811-0

Background: All Scottish Fold cats are believed to be affected by osteochondrodysplasia, a painful degenerative joint disorder. This retrospective study aimed to estimate the prevalence of osteochondrodysplasia in Scottish Fold and Scottish Straight cats in Australian veterinary clinics using electronic patient records (EPRs), collected between 1992 and 2018.

Results: Consultation events (34,926) in EPRs from veterinary clinics located in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, were collected from 1,131 Scottish Fold and 117 Scottish Shorthair cats. A clinical diagnosis of osteochondrodysplasia was made in 12/1,131 Scottish Fold cats. Additionally, 69 cats were identified with suspected osteochondrodysplasia. Of these, 64 were Scottish Fold and 5 were Scottish Shorthair cats. Male and female cats were equally represented. However, a significant difference was observed for the age clinical signs were first recorded in the EPRs. Cats diagnosed clinically with osteochondrodysplasia were significantly younger (p < 0.0001) compared to cats identified as suspected SFOCD cases.

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest a relatively low prevalence of clinically diagnosed Scottish Fold osteochondrodysplasia (SFOCD) in the studied Australian Scottish Fold population, with cats generally diagnosed with SFOCD at less than 30 months of age. Further evidence is required to accurately assess the clinical relevance of SFOCD in the Scottish Fold population.