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Dog leash-related injuries treated at emergency departments

      Highlights

      • 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.

      Abstract

      Background

      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).

      Methods

      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.

      Results

      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.

      Conclusion

      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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