Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

TeamMate: A Longitudinal Study of Health in Working Farm Dogs. III. Factors Affecting the Risk of Death, Euthanasia or Retirement from Work

Version 1 : Received: 22 March 2021 / Approved: 25 March 2021 / Online: 25 March 2021 (14:24:34 CET)

How to cite: Isaksen, K.E.; Linney, L.; Williamson, H.; Norman, E.J.; Cave, N.J.; Cogger, N. TeamMate: A Longitudinal Study of Health in Working Farm Dogs. III. Factors Affecting the Risk of Death, Euthanasia or Retirement from Work. Preprints 2021, 2021030620 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0620.v1). Isaksen, K.E.; Linney, L.; Williamson, H.; Norman, E.J.; Cave, N.J.; Cogger, N. TeamMate: A Longitudinal Study of Health in Working Farm Dogs. III. Factors Affecting the Risk of Death, Euthanasia or Retirement from Work. Preprints 2021, 2021030620 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0620.v1).

Abstract

Working farm dogs are essential to many livestock farmers. Little is known about factors that influence dogs’ risk of being lost from work. This paper explores risk factors for farm dogs being lost through death, euthanasia and retirement. All enrolled dogs were working and minimum 18 months old. Five data collection rounds were done over four years. Data about dogs were collected from owners and dogs were given physical examinations by veterinarians. Dogs that were lost from work were counted and owner-reported reasons for loss were recorded. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to investigate risk factors for loss. Of 589 dogs, 81 were lost from work. Of these, 59 dogs died or were euthanized and 22 were retired. Farm dogs tended to reach high ages, with 38% being 10 years or older when last examined. Acute injury or illness was the most commonly owner-reported reason for loss. Age group (P < 0.0001) and lameness (P = 0.04, OR = 1.8) significantly affected dogs’ risk being lost. These results expand our knowledge about factors that affect health, welfare and work in farm dogs. Further investigation into reasons for lameness may help improve health and welfare in working farm dogs.

Keywords

risk factors; longevity, death; euthanasia; retirement; longitudinal; TeamMate; working dogs; herding dogs; working farm dogs

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Veterinary Medicine

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