• 1. Duhaime RA, Norden D, Corso B, et al. Injuries and illnesses in working dogs used during the disaster response after the bombing in Oklahoma City. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212: 12021207.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. Slensky KA, Drobatz KJ, Downend AB, et al. Deployment morbidity among search-and-rescue dogs used after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 225: 868873.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Otto CM, Franz MA, Kellogg B, et al. Field treatment of search dogs: lessons learned from the World Trade Center disaster. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2002; 12: 3342.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Otto CM, Downend AB, Serpell JA, et al. Medical and behavioral surveillance of dogs deployed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from October 2001 to June 2002. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 225: 861867.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. Otto CM, Downend AB, Moore GE, et al. Medical surveillance of search dogs deployed to the World Trade Center and Pentagon: 2001–2006. J Environ Health 2010; 73: 1221.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Fox PR, Puschner B, Ebel JG. Assessment of acute injuries, exposure to environmental toxins, and five-year health surveillance of New York Police Department working dogs following the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center terrorist attack. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008; 233: 4859.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Gordon LE. Injuries and illnesses among urban search-and-rescue dogs deployed to Haiti following the January 12, 2010, earthquake. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012; 240: 396403.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Allstadt K, Malone S, Vidale J, et al. Seismic signals generated by the Oso landslide. Pacific Northwest Seismic Network summary—26 March 2014. Available at: wa.water.usgs.gov/data/SeismicReport-OsoLandslide.pdf. Accessed Nov 27, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Weather Underground. Weather history for KAWO. Month of April, 2014. Available at: www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KAWO/2014/4/3/MonthlyHistory.html/history. Accessed Nov 27, 2014.

  • 10. Highland LM, Schuster RL. Significant landslide events in the United States. Washington, DC: US Geological Survey, 2013. Available at: landslides.usgs.gov/docs/faq/significantls_508.pdf. Accessed Nov 27, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11. US Geological Survey. Landslide events. Available at: landslides.usgs.gov/recent/. Accessed Nov 27, 2014.

  • 12. Towle HA, Breur GJ. Miscellaneous orthopedic conditions. In: Tobias KM, Johnston SA, eds. Veterinary surgery: small animal. Vol 1. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2012;1124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. Soric S, Belanger MP, Wittnich C. A method for decontamination of animals involved in floodwater disasters. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008; 232: 364370.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Injuries and illnesses among Federal Emergency Management Agency–certified search-and-recovery and search-and-rescue dogs deployed to Oso, Washington, following the March 22, 2014, State Route 530 landslide

View More View Less
  • 1 Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Team, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Department of Homeland Security, 500 C St SW, Washington, DC 20472.
  • | 2 Massachusetts Task Force 1 National Urban Search and Rescue Response Team, 43 Airport Rd, Beverly, MA 01915.

Abstract

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.

Abstract

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.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Gordon's present address is Veterinary Surgical Care Inc, 4 Rose Ln, Atkinson, NH 03811.

Funding and support for medical records acquisition and postdeployment survey distribution were provided by the FEMA Blue Incident Support Team, The Washington State Department of Agriculture Reserve Veterinary Corps, and the Massachusetts Task Force 1 National Urban Search and Rescue Response Team.

The author thanks Dr. Minden Buswell for assistance with acquisition of medical records from the Washington State Department of Agriculture Reserve Veterinary Corps.

Address correspondence to Dr. Gordon (questions@usarveterinarygroup.org).