Dog leash-related injuries treated at emergency departments


      • Dog leash-related injuries treated at emergency departments were identified.
      • During 2001–2018, an estimated 356,746 dodgeball-related injuries occurred.
      • 54.2% of these injuries resulted from a pull and 38.3% from a trip/tangle.
      • Adults accounted for 88.2% of the patients and 73.0% were female.



      Although dog ownership may provide health benefits, interactions with dogs and their leashes can result in injuries. The intent of this study was to describe dog leash-related injuries treated at United States (US) emergency departments (EDs).


      Cases were dog leash-related injuries during 2001–2018 reported to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), from which national estimates of dog leash-related injuries treated at US EDs were calculated. The distribution of the cases and estimated number of dog leash-related injuries was determined for selected variables, such as the circumstances of the injury, patient demographics, and diagnosis.


      A dog leash was involved in 8189 injuries, resulting in a national estimate of 356,746 injuries and an estimated rate of 63.4 injuries per 1,000,000 population. Of these injuries, 193,483 resulted from a pull, 136,767 from a trip/tangle, and 26,496 from other or unknown circumstances. The total injury rate per 1,000,000 population increased from 25.4 in 2001 to 105.5 in 2018. Adults accounted for 314,712 (88.2%) of the patients; 260,328 (73.0%) of the patients were female. The injury occurred at home in 133,549 (37.4%) cases. The most common injuries were 95,677 (26.8%) fracture, 92,644 (26.0%) strain or sprain, and 62,980 (17.7%) contusions or abrasions.


      The most common type of dog leash-related injuries resulted from a pull followed by a trip/tangle. The number of dog leash-related injuries increased during the time period. The majority of the persons sustaining such injuries were adults and female. Over one-third of the injuries occurred at home.


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