To analyze the epidemiology of veterinary care in canine trauma patients prior to presentation to a Veterinary Trauma Center (VTC).
Retrospective observational cross-sectional study.
Retrospective descriptive analysis from 22,998 canine case records from the Veterinary Trauma Registry from September 2013 through April 2018. Analysis was focused on the type of injury, care provider, and care provided prior presentation to a VTC (pre-VTC care). A log-likelihood ratio test was used to test for association of outcome and pre-VTC care. Mann–Whitney U tests were used to compare modified Glasgow Coma Scale and Animal Trauma Triage (ATT) scores between pre-VTC and non-pre-VTC care groups.
Measurements and Main Results
Pre-VTC care was provided in 5636 out of 22,998 dogs (24.5%) by veterinarians (81%), owners (19.6%), and first responders (0.03%). The most common nonveterinary interventions included wound care and bandaging in 42% and 39% of the patients, respectively. Mortality was higher in the pre-VTC care group (8.7% vs 7.5%); dogs receiving pre-VTC care were 1.5 times (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–1.88) more likely to die and 1.2 times (95% CI, 1.07–1.37) more likely to be euthanized. The ATT scores were significantly higher in dogs receiving pre-VTC care (mean = 2.53 vs 1.78; p < 0.0001).
Our data demonstrate that the majority of more severely injured dogs receiving pre-VTC care obtained care by a veterinarian. Dogs receiving pre-VTC care possessed a greater mortality rate but also a greater ATT score; therefore, mortality rate is more likely related to severity of trauma rather than reception of pre-VTC care. We propose that these data should prompt further research and education about prehospital care in veterinary medicine.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents