Risk factors for severe and fatal heat-related illness in UK dogs—a VetCompass study

Hall, E.J., Carter, A.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-6216-2377, Chico, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-5915-3373, Bradbury, J., Gentle, L.K. ORCID: 0000-0003-4864-5775, Barfield, D. and O’Neill, D.G., 2022. Risk factors for severe and fatal heat-related illness in UK dogs—a VetCompass study. Veterinary Sciences, 9 (5): 231. ISSN 2306-7381

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Heat-related illness (HRI) is predicted to increase in dogs due to rising global temperatures. This study evaluated retrospective VetCompass veterinary clinical records to explore geographical variability and ambient conditions associated with HRI events in UK dogs, and report the intrinsic (canine) and extrinsic (location, trigger, ambient weather) risk factors for severe disease and fatal outcome in dogs affected by HRI. Dogs living in London had the greatest odds for developing HRI compared with dogs living in the North West (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.31–2.74). The median ambient temperature on days of HRI events was 16.9 °C. For dogs with HRI, age, bodyweight and trigger were risk factors associated with severe disease. Age, skull shape and clinical grade of HRI presentation were associated with a fatal outcome. Whilst the majority of HRI events overall were triggered by exertion, the risk of severe disease was greater in situations where dogs could not escape the heat source (vehicular confinement), and the risk of death in HRI cases was greater for those dogs with reduced capacity to thermoregulate (older and brachycephalic dogs). These results highlight the need for better owner awareness of the factors that increase the risk of severe and fatal HRI, as a first stage in protecting canine welfare in the face of rising global temperatures.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Veterinary Sciences
Creators: Hall, E.J., Carter, A.J., Chico, G., Bradbury, J., Gentle, L.K., Barfield, D. and O’Neill, D.G.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 11 May 2022
Volume: 9
Number: 5
ISSN: 2306-7381
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 13 May 2022 13:52
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 13:52
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46318

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