I've only started recording seriously since 2014, but approx. 24 animals died around me last year, which is half or less than the numbers that I lost the previous year (which was even higher). Most were cats. And many of those that died were kittens who didn't make it through from childhood to adulthood with mitochondrial defects (or nutritional insufficiency).
5-8 rats died as well in quick succession just after the rains (I've recorded only 3-5 of those). They were horribly mutilated by their own kind and gangrene, but I suspect it was mitochondrial problems as well, just that they're tougher and survive until the very worst weather conditions flood their homes and drive them to their deaths. I've tried to shelter their homes from the rains, but I didn't quite manage to protect them from the worst towards the end.
I like to think I'm doing something right to have reduced the number of deaths. But the two factors that really made the difference is that there are fewer dogs on the street and there's a surge of animal caring that's unprecedented making them better fed and cared for all over Bangalore. The remedies I'm giving have reduced the disease symptoms and extended the life of the dogs, cats, birds and mice in my care, but I'll know more clearly if the disease deaths reduce even further in 2015.
Two things I've noticed this last year: The rats are not dying year-round like 2013. They're more careful and healthier, and surprisingly, reproducing less as they live longer lives. I've noticed the same thing in cats - the healthier they are the less they reproduce and produce fewer babies. I wouldn't be surprised if this is true across the board of living beings - longevity seems to go with fewer births. I think this too is connected with mitochondrial intelligence.
But to all the lovely friends I lost last year, a final farewell. It was a blessing to know you.