Objective—To establish types and rates of injuries and illnesses among urban search-and-rescue (USAR) dogs deployed to Haiti following the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
Animals—23 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) USAR dogs deployed to Haiti.
Procedures—An online survey was distributed to the handlers of all FEMA USAR dogs deployed to Haiti in response to the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
Results—Of 33 handlers with 37 dogs that deployed, 19 (58%) handlers completed the survey, providing information on 23 (62%) dogs. Injuries and illnesses were reported in 10 of the 23 (43%) dogs, 8 of which had multiple issues. Dogs worked a total of 250 days and 1,785 hours. Dehydration and wounding were the most common disorders, with incidences of 3.9 and 3.4 events/1,000 h worked, respectively. Other disorders included ocular discharge and appetite decrease (incidence of each, 1.1 events/1,000 h worked) and weight loss, urination changes, skin infection, ear infection, oral abscess, and nonspecific illness (incidence of each, 0.56 events/1,000 h worked). Overall, there were 12.6 events/1,000 h worked. All health issues were minor and resolved during the deployment or within 2 weeks after demobilization.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that many of the USAR dogs deployed to Haiti developed acute injuries and illnesses. However, despite the high heat index, long hours worked, and dusty conditions, most injuries and illnesses were minor and all had resolved within 14 days. When logistic supplies for USAR teams are limited, minimal basic medical needs to treat common injuries should be a priority.
Objective—To establish types and rates of injuries and illnesses among search-and-recovery and search-and-rescue dogs deployed to Oso, Wash, following the March 22, 2014, State Route 530 landslide.
Design—Medical records review and cross-sectional survey.
Animals—25 Federal Emergency Management Agency–certified search dogs.
Procedures—On-site medical records and postdeployment laboratory test results were reviewed and an electronic survey was distributed to handlers within 8 days after demobilization.
Results—Dogs worked a total of 244 search shifts totaling 2,015 hours. Injuries and illnesses were reported in 21 (84%) dogs. Wounds (abrasions, pad wear, paw pad splits, and lacerations) were the most common injury, with an incidence rate of 28.3 wounds/1,000 hours worked. Dehydration was the most common illness, with an incidence rate of 10.4 cases of dehydration/1,000 hours worked. Total incidence rate for all health events was 66.5 events/1,000 hours worked. Two search dogs were removed from search operations for 2 days because of health issues. All others continued search operations while receiving treatment for their medical issues. All health issues were resolved during the deployment or within 2 weeks after demobilization.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results revealed that search dogs deployed to the Oso, Wash, landslide incurred injuries and illnesses similar to those reported following other disasters (dehydration, wounding, vomiting, and diarrhea) but also incurred medical issues not previously documented (acute caudal myopathy, cutaneous mass ruptures, and fever). The reported medical issues were minor; however, prompt veterinary care helped prevent them from developing into more serious conditions.
To document injuries and illnesses incurred by search-and-recovery (S&R) dogs deployed to northern California in response to the Camp Fire wildfire of November 2018 and identify fire scene–specific hazards.
30 human remains detection–certified S&R dogs deployed to the Camp Fire scene.
Handlers of the S&R dogs completed a survey after deployment. Data on illnesses and injuries incurred by the dogs during deployment were summarized, incidence rates were calculated, and fire scene hazards were identified.
Dogs were deployed for 161 days in total, representing 121 operational search shifts that totalled 931 hours. Injuries and illnesses (ie, medical issues) were reported for 20 (67%) dogs. Wounds (lacerations and abrasions) were the most common injury, occurring in 13 (43%) dogs for an incidence rate of 34.4 wounds/1,000 h worked. The most common illness-related issues were weight loss and lethargy or fatigue, each reported for 3 (10%) dogs for an incidence rate of 3.2 events/1,000 h worked. Total incidence rate for all medical issue events was 67.7 events/1,000 h worked. Specific to the Camp Fire scene were respiratory hazards of carcinogenic woodland smoke, aerosolized dry ash, and poison oak fumes; and contact hazards of burning ground or roots, unstable sewer covers, prescription medications, unexploded ammunition, congealed vehicle battery acid, and antifreeze, all hidden under layers of ash.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Lacerations, abrasions, weight loss, and lethargy or fatigue were common among the S&R dogs, and ash covering fire scene–specific hazards likely contributed. In addition to safety concerns common to all team personnel, hazards specific to S&R dogs in a postfire environment should be emphasized during hazmat and safety briefings, especially to handlers, search team managers, and medical personnel.
Case Description—A 12-year-old Miniature Dachshund with a history of permanent endocardial pacemaker implantation performed 7 weeks previously was admitted for routine dental prophylaxis.
Clinical Findings—Preanesthetic ECG revealed normal ventricular capture. Thoracic radiographic findings included caudomedial displacement of the endocardial pacemaker lead. Echocardiography revealed moderate chronic degenerative valve disease with moderate left atrial and ventricular dilation. After induction of anesthesia, loss of ventricular capture was detected. The dog recovered from anesthesia and had improved ventricular capture. The following day, surgical exposure of the cardiac apex revealed perforation of the right ventricular apex by the passive-fixation pacemaker lead.
Treatment and Outcome—A permanent epicardial pacemaker was implanted through a transxiphoid approach. Appropriate ventricular capture and sensing were achieved. The dog recovered without complications. Approximately 2 months later, the dog developed sudden respiratory distress at home and was euthanized.
Clinical Relevance—In dogs with permanent pacemakers and loss of ventricular capture, differential diagnoses should include cardiac perforation. If evidence of perforation of the pacemaker lead is found, replacement of the endocardial pacemaker lead with an epicardial pacemaker lead is warranted.
Case Description—A 3-year-old sexually intact male Standard Poodle was admitted to the veterinary teaching hospital for transcatheter closure of a large atrial septal defect (ASD).
Clinical Findings—The dog had exercise intolerance and was thin. Findings on physical examination were within normal limits with the exception of a left base systolic heart murmur (grade 5/6). The dog was not receiving any medications. Echocardiography and thoracic radiography confirmed the diagnosis of ASD and revealed compensatory changes consistent with a large left to right shunting ASD. Results of serum biochemical analysis and CBC were within reference range limits.
Treatment and Outcome—Transcatheter ASD closure with an atrial septal occluder (ASO) was performed and failed. An open heart surgical approach under cardiopulmonary bypass was declined by the dog's owners. The dog underwent a novel hybrid approach involving active device fixation under temporary inflow occlusion after transatrial device deployment. The dog recovered with some manageable postoperative complications. As of the last follow-up examination, the dog had 10 months of event-free survival.
Clinical Relevance—Transcatheter closure by use of an ASO and open heart patch repair with cardiopulmonary bypass to surgically treat dogs with ASD has been reported. Transcatheter closure is not possible in dogs with large ASD. The novel hybrid procedure reported herein represented a viable alternative to euthanasia.
Objective—To report the outcome of minimally invasive surgical treatment of heartworm caval syndrome in a series of dogs and to provide information on long-term survival of patients with this condition.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—42 client-owned dogs with a diagnosis of heartworm caval syndrome.
Procedures—Information on history, clinical, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging findings and treatment was obtained from medical records. When possible, additional follow-up information was obtained through telephone interviews with referring veterinarians and owners.
Results—Of the 42 dogs with caval syndrome, 21 underwent minimally invasive surgical treatment consisting of transvenous heartworm extraction. Two of the 21 dogs died during the procedure, and after surgery, 4 died. Following induction of anesthesia, heartworms migrated into the distal portion of the pulmonary artery in 1 dog; therefore, extraction was not attempted. Transvenous heartworm extraction was completed successfully in 14 dogs, and all 14 of these dogs were discharged from the hospital. Mean follow-up time in these 14 dogs was 24.4 ± 17.7 months with a range of 2 to 56 months. At the time of final follow-up, 10 of these 14 dogs had survived at least 18 months and 7 had survived > 24 months. By the end of the study, 1 dog was lost to follow-up and 3 had been euthanatized for unrelated reasons.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the study reported here suggest that dogs with caval syndrome that undergo successful transvenous heartworm extraction and survive to discharge have a good long-term prognosis.
Objective—To determine the effect of PO administration of pimobendan on clinical and echocardiographic variables and survival time in cats with heart failure characterized by ventricular systolic dysfunction.
Design—Retrospective cohort study.
Animals—27 client-owned cats (16 male and 11 female) with heart failure, treated with pimobendan (mean ± SD dosage, 0.26 ± 0.08 mg/kg [0.118 ± 0.036 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h).
Procedures—Information on medical history, laboratory results, diagnostic imaging findings, treatments received, and survival time were obtained from medical records of cats that received pimobendan because of cardiac disease. When possible, additional follow-up information was obtained through telephone interviews with referring veterinarians and owners.
Results—The mean ± SD age of all 27 cats was 8.9 ± 5.2 years. All cats had received several cardiac medications. Types of heart disease represented included unclassified cardiomyopathy (CM; n = 11 [41%]), dilated CM (8 [30%]), arrhythmogenic right ventricular CM (4 [15%]), congenital heart disease (3 [11 %]), and hypertrophic CM with regional hypokinesis (1 [4%]). All cats had ventricular systolic dysfunction. One cat with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve became severely hypotensive after initial administration of pimobendan and was excluded from the survival analysis. Median survival time was 167 days (95% confidence interval, 32 to 339 days).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pimobendan appeared to be well tolerated in cats with heart failure characterized by ventricular systolic dysfunction of various etiologies. Cats with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve may develop systemic hypotension when treated with pimobendan. Additional studies are needed to establish dosages for pimobendan and its effects before it can be recommended for treatment of cats with CHF.