Risk of Peripheral Nerve Disease in Military Working Dogs Deployed in Operations Desert Shield/Storm
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD DEPT OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE AND BIOMETRICS
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A population-based, cohort study was conducted to determine the importance of Gulf War deployment to Southwest Asia, from 1 August 1990 to 31 December 1991, in explaining neurologic mortality and peripheral nerve disease among United States military working dogs. The study cohort consisted of 2,123 military working dogs that were eligible to deploy to the Gulf War and died between 4 September 1990 and 30 June 2001 with complete medical records maintained at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Training Center and Veterinary Services, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. Within this Gulf War cohort was a prospectively followed cohort of 651 dogs 347 of these dogs had complete peripheral nerve histopathologic diagnostic records. Descriptive analysis of the study variables defined neurologic mortality incidence for the Gulf War cohort at 1.90 cases per 1,000 dog-months. Rates among dogs assigned to the United States, overseas, and Southwest Asia were 1.83, 1.91, and 2.44 cases per 1,000 dog-months, respectively. Analysis of other exposures showed highest neurologic mortality among dogs assigned to Southwest Asia countries other than Saudi Arabia, dogs arriving before or departing after the war, dogs that arrived before and departed after the war, and dogs that spent more than 176 days in Southwest Asia. Peripheral nerve disease incidence was 3.69 cases per 1,000 dog-months for the prospective cohort. The rate for dogs assigned to the United States was higher than for those overseas or in Southwest Asia 3.86, 3.53, and 3.21 cases per 1,000 dog-months, respectively. Using survival analysis, adjusted neurologic mortality and peripheral nerve disease rates were similar between the United States, overseas, and Southwest Asia assignment locations. An increasing trend of neurologic mortality was evident with increased time spent in Southwest Asia.
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine
- Medicine and Medical Research