The September, 2006 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of July, 2006.
Four or five deaths?
The September 2006 Air Travel Consumer Report has been posted and lists two injuries and four deaths, all on Continental Airlines.
The first injury was a cat who injured itself trying to get out of its kennel. The Continental Airlines agent noticed the injured cat shortly after it was dropped off by the owner. The owner was contacted and they were both transported to a local vet office. The second injury seems to be a dog who chewed and pushed his way out of his kennel and was found loose inside the cargo bin of the aircraft when it landed. The dog was immediately taken to a local veterinarian where it died a several hours later. A necropsy was performed and stated that the cause of dealt was a pre-existing condition unrelated to moving or transporting the animal.
The first death was a 12 year old Boston Terrier, named Mr. Jiggs. Mr. Jiggs was found deceased inside its kennel upon arrival in Los Angeles. A necropsy was performed and showed some age related conditions, but did not indicate a cause of death other than natural causes. There were two other animals in the cargo hold that arrived safely.
The next incident involves a 14 year old lab mix named Cody. The dog was described as ill by the owner, but a health certificate was presented. During a weather relater diversion to Cleveland, Cody was attended to and given water and medication. Cody was found dead in his kennel before he was returned to the aircraft to make the connecting flight. No necropsy was done, as the owner stated that he was sure the dog died because of age and health reasons. A second dog arrived safely.
A 4 year old bulldog was found deceased upon arrival in Newark, New Jersey. A necropsy was performed and indicated that the animal became agitated and this led to an extreme nervous state that led to her death. The veterinarian also reported that "the lungs showed signs of hemorrhage". He stated that the animal's death was not transit related. A cat was also shipped and arrived fine.
The last incident involves the death of an eight year old cocker spaniel named Swirl who was found deceased after the first leg of its journey in Houston. A necropsy "showed an age-related chronic glomerulonephropathy (kidney disease), pulmonary congestion and pulmonary edema. The report stated that the underlying chronic kidney disease may have contributed to the pets death".
It is interesting that none of the causes of death are listed as transit related, as it seem obvious that the stress of travel is involved in at lease some of the incidents.
Continental shipped 10,934 pets during the month of July. With 6 incidents that is a 0.00054% incident rate.