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Relationship between incidence of gastric dilatation-volvulus and biometeorologic events in a population of military working dogs

John R. HerboldSchool of Public Health, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900.

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 DVM, MPH, PhD
,
George E. MooreDefense Military Working Dog Veterinary Service, 1219 Knight St, Lackland Air Force Base, TX 78236.
Department of Veterinary Science, Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234.

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 DVM, MS
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Terry L. GoschSchool of Public Health, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900.
Alaska District Veterinary Command, Fort Wainwright, AK 99703.

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B. Sue BellSchool of Public Health, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900.
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20852

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 PhD

Abstract

Objective—To calculate the monthly incidence of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in a population of military working dogs during a 5-year period and determine whether there was an association with synoptic climatologic indices.

Sample Population—Medical records of all military working dogs housed at Lackland Air Force Base,Tex, from Jan 1, 1993 to Dec 31, 1997.

Procedure—Confirmed cases of GDV were identified from evaluation of medical records and used to calculate incidence of GDV. Factor analysis of local climatologic data was used to classify each day into 1 of 8 meteorologically homogeneous types of days for this location. Occurrence of GDV was compared with frequency of occurrence of synoptic climatologic days.

Results—48 cases of GDV were identified from January 1993 through December 1997. Mean monthly incidence was 2.5 cases/1,000 dogs at risk (range, 0 to 18.5 cases/1,000 dogs; median, 2.5 cases/1,000 dogs). A seasonal increase in incidence of GDV was detected, because half of the episodes were during November, December, and January. An association with a specific synoptic climatologic day was not detected.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Seasonal fluctuations in incidence of GDV may be associated with external factors that precipitate physiologic changes resulting in GDV. Although a specific cause-effect relationship was not documented, clinicians must be alert for the potential of seasonal variation in incidence of GDV and accordingly heighten their index of suspicion for the condition, particularly in populations of dogs that are predisposed to development of GDV. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:47–52)

Abstract

Objective—To calculate the monthly incidence of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in a population of military working dogs during a 5-year period and determine whether there was an association with synoptic climatologic indices.

Sample Population—Medical records of all military working dogs housed at Lackland Air Force Base,Tex, from Jan 1, 1993 to Dec 31, 1997.

Procedure—Confirmed cases of GDV were identified from evaluation of medical records and used to calculate incidence of GDV. Factor analysis of local climatologic data was used to classify each day into 1 of 8 meteorologically homogeneous types of days for this location. Occurrence of GDV was compared with frequency of occurrence of synoptic climatologic days.

Results—48 cases of GDV were identified from January 1993 through December 1997. Mean monthly incidence was 2.5 cases/1,000 dogs at risk (range, 0 to 18.5 cases/1,000 dogs; median, 2.5 cases/1,000 dogs). A seasonal increase in incidence of GDV was detected, because half of the episodes were during November, December, and January. An association with a specific synoptic climatologic day was not detected.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Seasonal fluctuations in incidence of GDV may be associated with external factors that precipitate physiologic changes resulting in GDV. Although a specific cause-effect relationship was not documented, clinicians must be alert for the potential of seasonal variation in incidence of GDV and accordingly heighten their index of suspicion for the condition, particularly in populations of dogs that are predisposed to development of GDV. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:47–52)