0002336: Medical Surveillance of Dogs Deployed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
Grant Status: Closed
Grant Amount: $280,929.68
Dr. Cynthia M. Otto, DVM PhD, University of Pennsylvania
January 1, 2002 - December 31, 2004
Sponsor(s): American Kennel Club, Giant Schnauzer Club of America, Golden Retriever Foundation, PetCo Foundation, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Abstract September 11, 2001, will live on in the memory and psyche of the American people. These events may also alter the lives of the hundreds of dogs and their handlers that served in a time of disaster. Federal (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue Teams, police and private search dog handlers were involved in the search mission. The dogs were exposed to numerous hazardous materials. Although the acute medical problems were limited, it is impossible to predict the long-term effects of this disaster on the health and behavior of the dogs and the mental health of their handlers. In order to identify problems, we will perform intensive surveillance of the FEMA Team dogs and survey monitoring of the remainder of dogs. The intensive monitoring will include blood work (for evidence of infection, toxic injury and cancer) and chest radiographs over the next three years. Behavior and activity information will be collected at each time period for all dogs. The medical and behavior changes in the search dogs will be compared to controls to determine the lasting effects of this disaster and its response. Psychological effects on the FEMA dog handlers will also be monitored and interactions with the medical and behavioral effects of the dogs will be evaluated.