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1) A veterinary sentinel event is defined as a disease or condition in animals that, because of recognized characteristics known or suspected about their etiology, have particular significance for identifying hazardous concentrations of contaminants in the environment.
2) The three diseases noted in this table have been shown in controlled epidemiological studies to result from specific environmental hazards in the home. Recognition of these events serves as a warning of similar hazards to human inhabitants.
3) These diseases in humans and dogs are also similar in their clinical features and biology.
4) Because the life-span of pet dogs is relatively short compared with humans, the latency period for most chronic diseases in dogs is shorter than for humans. If an environmentally induced disease in an animal is recognized as a sentinel event, there is usually time to take corrective action before a similar disease develops in humans.