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Disaster Medicine: Implementation of an animal health database in response to the 2018 California Camp Fire

Hayley G. Dieckmann1International Animal Welfare Training Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Lais R. R. Costa1International Animal Welfare Training Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Beatriz Martínez-López2Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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John E. Madigan1International Animal Welfare Training Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe an animal health database used to facilitate effective disaster response and retrospective analysis of data concerning animals other than cats and dogs affected by the 2018 California Camp Fire.

ANIMALS

Veterinary medical entries (n = 206) for evacuated or rescued animals (151) of various species, including avian, bovine, camelid, caprine, equine, ovine, and porcine species, temporarily housed at the Butte County fairgrounds in Gridley, Calif.

PROCEDURES

Case data were collected via a standardized form by volunteers with the University of California-Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team during triage and treatment of animals brought to the shelter. Collected data were entered into a database. Multiple correspondence analysis was used to evaluate associations among patient species, types and severity of injuries, and behavior.

RESULTS

Burns, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, and lacerations were the most prevalent illnesses and injuries among the overall shelter population for the first 12 days of the Camp Fire. Ovine patients were more likely to have had respiratory illness than were other species. The most prevalent medical conditions among equine patients were lacerations and gastrointestinal illnesses. Severe burns were most common among porcine, camelid, and avian patients. The temporal distribution of cases suggested the immediate evacuation of equine species and the delayed movement of bovine and avian species to the shelter.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Collection of animal health information through the database allowed assessment of prevalent medical conditions among various farm animals following a wildfire. Adaptation of this database to other disasters could improve emergency response protocols by providing guidance for management of resources and allow retrospective assessment for response improvement.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe an animal health database used to facilitate effective disaster response and retrospective analysis of data concerning animals other than cats and dogs affected by the 2018 California Camp Fire.

ANIMALS

Veterinary medical entries (n = 206) for evacuated or rescued animals (151) of various species, including avian, bovine, camelid, caprine, equine, ovine, and porcine species, temporarily housed at the Butte County fairgrounds in Gridley, Calif.

PROCEDURES

Case data were collected via a standardized form by volunteers with the University of California-Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team during triage and treatment of animals brought to the shelter. Collected data were entered into a database. Multiple correspondence analysis was used to evaluate associations among patient species, types and severity of injuries, and behavior.

RESULTS

Burns, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, and lacerations were the most prevalent illnesses and injuries among the overall shelter population for the first 12 days of the Camp Fire. Ovine patients were more likely to have had respiratory illness than were other species. The most prevalent medical conditions among equine patients were lacerations and gastrointestinal illnesses. Severe burns were most common among porcine, camelid, and avian patients. The temporal distribution of cases suggested the immediate evacuation of equine species and the delayed movement of bovine and avian species to the shelter.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Collection of animal health information through the database allowed assessment of prevalent medical conditions among various farm animals following a wildfire. Adaptation of this database to other disasters could improve emergency response protocols by providing guidance for management of resources and allow retrospective assessment for response improvement.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Ms. Dieckmann (hdieckmann@ucdavis.edu).