Objective—To describe the signalment, wound characteristics, and treatment of gunshot injuries in cats and dogs in urban and rural environments, and to evaluate the utility of the animal trauma triage (ATT) score as an early predictor of survival to discharge from the hospital.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—29 dogs and 8 cats.
Procedures—Medical records of cats and dogs evaluated for gunshot wounds from 2003 and 2008 at a private urban referral practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and an urban veterinary teaching hospital in Ames, Iowa, were reviewed. Information collected included signalment, chief reason for evaluation, circumstance of the injury, general physical examination findings, wound characteristics, treatments provided, cost of care, survival to discharge from the hospital (yes vs no), and duration of hospital stay. For each animal, ATT scores were calculated and evaluated as a prognostic tool.
Results—37 animals met study inclusion criteria. Animals with higher ATT scores had a greater likelihood of poor outcome following gunshot injury. Animals with higher ATT scores, classified as low (< 4.5) or high (> 4.5), were found to have a longer duration of stay, classified as zero (0 days), short (1 to 3 days), or long (> 3 days). Young male dogs generally considered working breeds were overrepresented (29/37 [78.4%]). A preference for low-velocity, low-kinetic-energy firearms was identified (19/37 [52%]). The most numerous wounds were those inflicted to the limbs (12/37 [32.4%]), during low-visibility hours or hunting excursions. Calculated ATT scores on admission were higher in animals requiring blood products or surgical procedures and in nonsurvivors.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the present study suggested that regional preferences in breed ownership and firearm choice are responsible for variation in gunshot injury characteristics and management in animals sustaining injuries in rural and urban settings in Iowa. In cats and dogs, calculation of an ATT score may provide a useful predictor of the need for surgery or blood products, duration of stay, and likelihood of survival to discharge from the hospital.
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.