Effect of National Football League games on small animal emergency room caseload.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

PubMedID: 19566455

Rozanski EA, Rondeau MP, Shaw SP, Rush JE. Effect of National Football League games on small animal emergency room caseload. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009;235(1):58-60.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate whether games of popular professional football teams have an effect on small animal emergency room caseload and percentage of dogs and cats that subsequently are hospitalized, are euthanatized, or die following admission to veterinary emergency rooms located within a dedicated fan base.

DESIGN
Prospective study.

ANIMALS
818 dogs and cats admitted to the emergency room.

PROCEDURES
During the 2007 New England Patriots (NEP) football season, small animal emergency room caseload was recorded for Sunday (4-hour blocks, 8:00 AM until 12:00 midnight) and Monday night (7:00 PM to 11:00 PM). Number of dogs and cats that subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized was recorded. Mean game importance rating (GIR) was determined for NEP games (scale, 1 [mild] to 3 [great]).

RESULTS
Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 1.7) versus non-NEP games was not different. Mean +/- SD percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.4) versus non-NEP games was significantly different (18 +/- 5% and 25 +/- 7% of daily caseload, respectively). Percentage of dogs and cats admitted from 8:00 PM to 12:00 midnight on Sundays during NEP games (mean GIR, 2.1) versus non-NEP games was not different. Game type (NEP vs non-NEP) during emergency room admission did not influence whether dogs and cats subsequently were hospitalized, died, or were euthanatized.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Professional sporting events may influence veterinary emergency room caseloads.