Prevalence and risk factors for development of hemorrhagic gastro-intestinal disease in veterinary intensive care units in the United Kingdom

Objective

To determine the prevalence of hemorrhagic gastro-intestinal (GI) disease developing in dogs and cats admitted for management of non-GI disease in veterinary intensive care units (ICUs).

Methods

Hemorrhagic GI disease was observed in dogs at all 3 units, but at different rates (Center 1: 10.3%, Center 2: 4.8%, Center 3: 2.2%). Hemorrhagic GI disease was not observed in cats at any of the participating centres. Construction of a multivariable logistic regression model revealed that serum albumin concentration, administration of prophylactic gastro-protectant drugs, and institution were significantly associated with the development of hemorrhagic GI disease in dogs. Development of hemorrhagic GI disease and placement of a feeding tube were significantly associated with mortality during the period of hospitalisation in dogs. Thirty-seven (13.6%) dogs and 12 (12.8%) cats died or were euthanised while hospitalised, with a higher mortality rate (42.1%) in dogs with hemorrhagic GI disease.

Results

Hemorrhagic GI disease does develop in dogs hospitalised for management of non-GI disease, but this phenomenon was not observed in cats. Development of hemorrhagic GI disease appeared to have a significant impact on survival in veterinary ICUs.

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