Urban environment: a risk factor for canine immune‐mediated disease?
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OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether dogs living in urban areas are more likely to develop immune-mediated disease than those in rural areas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A case-control study comparing the prevalence of urban home location between dogs with immune-mediated disease and matched controls. Dogs diagnosed with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated polyarthritis or meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin were identified by case record searches. Breed-matched dogs presenting to the same hospital during the same year as cases were randomly selected as controls. Home locations were classified as rural or urban using the population density of the relevant census tract and conditional logistic regression was used to examine association between home location and immune-mediated disease. RESULTS: In the 137 cases and 137 breed-matched controls, the odds ratio for any immune-mediated disease for dogs living in urban (versus rural) areas was 0·94 (95% confidence interval 0·58 to 1·55, P=0·80). Odds ratios for development of immune-mediated haematological diseases, immune-mediated polyarthritis or meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin were also not significantly different from the null value. Multivariable analysis including age, gender and season of presentation did not suggest confounding of effect of home location by these additional variables. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This study does not support an association between urban environment and immune-mediated disease in dogs.
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