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Article

Risk Factors for Severe and Fatal Heat-Related Illness in UK Dogs—A VetCompass Study

1
Department of Clinical Science and Services, The Royal Veterinary College, Herts AL9 7TA, UK
2
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Notts NG25 0QF, UK
3
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London WC2A 1EN, UK
4
Pathobiology and Population Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Herts AL9 7TA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(5), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9050231
Received: 5 April 2022 / Revised: 28 April 2022 / Accepted: 6 May 2022 / Published: 11 May 2022
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: VetCompass; heat-related illness; canine heatstroke; exertional heat-related illness; vehicular heat-related illness; brachycephalic; dogs die in hot cars; dogs die on hot walks VetCompass; heat-related illness; canine heatstroke; exertional heat-related illness; vehicular heat-related illness; brachycephalic; dogs die in hot cars; dogs die on hot walks
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hall, E.J.; Carter, A.J.; Chico, G.; Bradbury, J.; Gentle, L.K.; Barfield, D.; O’Neill, D.G. Risk Factors for Severe and Fatal Heat-Related Illness in UK Dogs—A VetCompass Study. Vet. Sci. 2022, 9, 231. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9050231

AMA Style

Hall EJ, Carter AJ, Chico G, Bradbury J, Gentle LK, Barfield D, O’Neill DG. Risk Factors for Severe and Fatal Heat-Related Illness in UK Dogs—A VetCompass Study. Veterinary Sciences. 2022; 9(5):231. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9050231

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hall, Emily J., Anne J. Carter, Guaduneth Chico, Jude Bradbury, Louise K. Gentle, Dominic Barfield, and Dan G. O’Neill. 2022. "Risk Factors for Severe and Fatal Heat-Related Illness in UK Dogs—A VetCompass Study" Veterinary Sciences 9, no. 5: 231. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9050231

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