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Evaluation of vehicular trauma in dogs: 239 cases (January–December 2001)

Elizabeth M. Streeter DVM, DAVECC1, Elizabeth A. Rozanski DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC2, Armelle de Laforcade-Buress DVM, DACVECC3, Lisa M. Freeman DVM, PhD, DACVN4, and John E. Rush DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVECC5
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To describe a population of dogs with vehicular trauma and to determine whether age, type and severity of injury, or preexisting disease were associated with outcome.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—239 dogs evaluated at a university referral hospital after vehicular trauma over a 12-month period.

Procedures—Patient characteristics, including age, outcome, animal trauma triage (ATT) score, treatments performed, hospital stay, cost, and preexisting disease, were recorded from medical records of dogs that had vehicular trauma. Dogs were assigned to a young, middle-aged, or geriatric age group. Categoric and continuous variables were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors to identify possible associations.

Results—239 dogs (126 males and 113 females) were evaluated following vehicular trauma during 2001: young (n = 149), middle-aged (68), and geriatric (22). The median ATT score was 3 (range, 0 to 15). Sixteen dogs had preexisting disease. Hospital stay ranged from < 1 to 28 days (median, 3 days). Cost ranged from $77 to $10,636 (median, $853). Two hundred six dogs were discharged. Twenty-six dogs were euthanatized, and 7 died. Dogs that died or were euthanatized had significantly higher ATT scores. The ATT score also was associated with a significantly higher cost of care. Dogs with multiple injuries had significantly higher ATT scores, had increased cost of care, and were significantly more likely to die or be euthanatized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased injury severity in dogs was associated with increased mortality rates and higher cost of treatment.

Abstract

Objective—To describe a population of dogs with vehicular trauma and to determine whether age, type and severity of injury, or preexisting disease were associated with outcome.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—239 dogs evaluated at a university referral hospital after vehicular trauma over a 12-month period.

Procedures—Patient characteristics, including age, outcome, animal trauma triage (ATT) score, treatments performed, hospital stay, cost, and preexisting disease, were recorded from medical records of dogs that had vehicular trauma. Dogs were assigned to a young, middle-aged, or geriatric age group. Categoric and continuous variables were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors to identify possible associations.

Results—239 dogs (126 males and 113 females) were evaluated following vehicular trauma during 2001: young (n = 149), middle-aged (68), and geriatric (22). The median ATT score was 3 (range, 0 to 15). Sixteen dogs had preexisting disease. Hospital stay ranged from < 1 to 28 days (median, 3 days). Cost ranged from $77 to $10,636 (median, $853). Two hundred six dogs were discharged. Twenty-six dogs were euthanatized, and 7 died. Dogs that died or were euthanatized had significantly higher ATT scores. The ATT score also was associated with a significantly higher cost of care. Dogs with multiple injuries had significantly higher ATT scores, had increased cost of care, and were significantly more likely to die or be euthanatized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased injury severity in dogs was associated with increased mortality rates and higher cost of treatment.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Streeter's present address is Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Center, 755 Capital Dr SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

Presented in abstract form at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, San Antonio, Tex, September 2002.

Address correspondence to Dr. Rozanski.