Effect of National Football League games on small animal emergency room caseload

Elizabeth A. Rozanski Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Mark P. Rondeau Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Scott P. Shaw Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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John E. Rush Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate whether games of popular professional football teams have an effect on small animal emergency room caseload and percentage of dogs and cats that subsequently are hospitalized, are euthanatized, or die following admission to veterinary emergency rooms located within a dedicated fan base.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—818 dogs and cats admitted to the emergency room.

Procedures—During the 2007 New England Patriots (NEP) football season, small animal emergency room caseload was recorded for Sunday (4-hour blocks, 8:00 AM until 12:00 midnight) and Monday night (7:00 PM to 11:00 PM). Number of dogs and cats that subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized was recorded. Mean game importance rating (GIR) was determined for NEP games (scale, 1 [mild] to 3 [great]).

Results—Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 1.7) versus non-NEP games was not different. Mean ± SD percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.4) versus non-NEP games was significantly different (18 ± 5% and 25 ± 7% of daily caseload, respectively). Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 8:00 PM to 12:00 midnight on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.1) versus non-NEP games was not different. Game type (NEP vs non-NEP) during emergency room admission did not influence whether dogs and cats subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Professional sporting events may influence veterinary emergency room caseloads.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate whether games of popular professional football teams have an effect on small animal emergency room caseload and percentage of dogs and cats that subsequently are hospitalized, are euthanatized, or die following admission to veterinary emergency rooms located within a dedicated fan base.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—818 dogs and cats admitted to the emergency room.

Procedures—During the 2007 New England Patriots (NEP) football season, small animal emergency room caseload was recorded for Sunday (4-hour blocks, 8:00 AM until 12:00 midnight) and Monday night (7:00 PM to 11:00 PM). Number of dogs and cats that subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized was recorded. Mean game importance rating (GIR) was determined for NEP games (scale, 1 [mild] to 3 [great]).

Results—Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 1.7) versus non-NEP games was not different. Mean ± SD percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.4) versus non-NEP games was significantly different (18 ± 5% and 25 ± 7% of daily caseload, respectively). Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 8:00 PM to 12:00 midnight on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.1) versus non-NEP games was not different. Game type (NEP vs non-NEP) during emergency room admission did not influence whether dogs and cats subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Professional sporting events may influence veterinary emergency room caseloads.

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