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  • Author or Editor: Joseph G. Ebel x
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Objective—To determine deployment logistics of New York Police Department (NYPD) working dogs that assisted in relief efforts at the World Trade Center (WTC) site following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack; establish types and rates of related acute injuries and illnesses; identify environmental toxin exposures; and determine long-term (ie, 5-year) health effects of deployment.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—27 working dogs.

Procedures—Deployment logistics for the period from September 11, 2001, through May 30, 2002, were determined, and acute health disorders were identified by means of physical examination; a questionnaire; interviews with dog handlers; and toxicologic (blood and hair samples), clinicopathologic, microbiologic (nasal swab specimens submitted for Bacillus anthracis culture), and radiographic methods. Long-term health surveillance ended September 21, 2006.

Results—Dogs worked a total of 1,428 days (15,148 hours) at the site. Seventeen of the 27 (62.9%) dogs had health disorders during the first week. Specific conditions included fatigue (incidence rate [events/1,000 active deployment hours], 13.1), conjunctival irritation (13.1), respiratory tract problems (12.4), decreased appetite (10.8), dehydration (10), and cuts (9.3). Only minor hematologic and serum biochemical abnormalities were identified. Bacterial culture of nasal swab specimens did not yield B anthracis. Only mild and infrequent health conditions were identified during the 5-year follow-up period. None of the dogs were identified as having chronic respiratory tract disease. Six dogs died of various causes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that acute injuries and illnesses were common among NYPD working dogs deployed to the WTC disaster site, but that longterm health complications were minimal.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To document clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.

Design—Case series.

Animals—70 cats from a single cattery inadvertently fed contaminated food that was the subject of a March 2007 recall.

Procedures—Clinical signs, clinicopathologic and histopathologic findings, and results of toxicologic analyses were recorded

Results—Clinical signs were identified in 43 cats and included inappetence, vomiting, polyuria, polydipsia, and lethargy. Azotemia was documented in 38 of the 68 cats for which serum biochemical analyses were performed 7 to 11 days after consumption of the contaminated food. One cat died, and 13 were euthanized. Histologic examination of kidney specimens from 13 cats revealed intratubular crystalluria, tubular necrosis with regeneration, and subcapsular perivascular inflammation characterized by perivascular fibroplasia or fibrosis and inflammation with intravascular fibrin thrombi. Toxicologic analyses revealed melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat food, vomitus, urine, and kidneys.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In cats unintentionally fed pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid, the most consistent clinical and pathologic abnormalities were associated with the urinary tract, specifically tubular necrosis and crystalluria.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association