August 2010 Airline Pet Travel Report

The August, 2010 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of June, 2010.

Alaska Airlines reports the death of a 7 year-old Pug on a flight from Denver, Colorado to Seattle, Washington. Alaska indicated that the death appeared to be natural and that "There is no evidence to suggest that the airline’s handling contributed to the animal’s condition in any way."

American Airlines reports the deaths of two dogs. On June 3rd an English Bulldog puppy named Max was discovered deceased in Lima, Peru from a flight originating in Miami, Florida. A necropsy concluded that the dog passed away of congestive heart failure, but the owner also stated that the dog was sedated for the flight. On June 19th a 3 1/2 year-old English Bulldog named Cena was found deceased during unloading in New York, New York on a flight originating in Los Angeles, California. The necropsy indicated "The animal suffered acute respiratory distress and passed away from sustained lack of oxygen".

Continental reports the deaths of three dogs. A 2 year-old Boston Terrier was deceased upon arrival into Newark, New Jersey from Tampa, Florida. A necropsy was performed at Continental’s expense. The Veterinarian’s report included the following statement, “The intestinal lesions could suggest an underlying inflammatory bowel disease”. She also noted that, “it is possible that breed related respiratory issues could have contributed to the death of this pet.” It was also important to note that the temperature in Tampa upon departure was 79 degrees F and the temperature in Newark upon arrival was 76 degrees F and all handling was per Continental’s policies.

An 8 year-old Pug named Buster arrived deceased in Las Vegas, Nevada from Newark, New Jersey. Details from the report: A necropsy was performed at Continental’s expense and the Veterinarian noted in the gross necropsy that Buster was obese and had a tumor on his spleen and abnormal tissue in his lungs. She noted “no trauma to the body” and thinks that Buster died in his sleep based on her examination. While the histopathology report stated that a cause of death was not apparent, it noted that this “breed of dog has conformational changes that affect air movement through the upper respiratory system... Thermoregulation in dogs is primarily achieved via panting and the combination of the conformational abnormalities of the Pug breed and the over-conditioned nature of this dog may have made it more sensitive or less able to adapt..”

A 7 year-old Pug named Loki arrived deceased in Minneapolis, Minnesota from Houston, Texas. The necropsy report stated: “Given the lack of other significant necropsy findings, the elongated soft palate, and the entrapped epiglottis, it is likely that respiratory compromise contributed to the sudden, unexpected death of this dog.”

Again it is worth noting that all the reported deaths this month were from brachycephalic, or short-nosed dogs.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during June, 2010.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 0 0 1
American Airlines 0 0 2
Continental 0 0 3
Total 0 0 6

See all incidents included in the August, 2010 report.

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Source: August 2010 Air Travel Consumer Report.