Thu 23 Dec, 2010 09:06 am
Risks: Hospital Admissions for Dog Bites Are on the Rise
By RONI CARYN RABIN
The number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites almost doubled over a 15-year-period, increasing to 9,500 in 2008 from 5,100 in 1993, a new government study reports.
The increase vastly exceeded population growth, and pet ownership increased only slightly during the same period, said the report’s author, Anne Elixhauser, a senior research scientist with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The report was an analysis of emergency visits and inpatient stays that drew on data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for 2008 and from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 1993-2008.
“It’s really kind of frightening, and unfortunately, we’re at a loss to explain it,” Dr. Elixhauser said. “It’s a pretty hefty increase.”
About 866 people a day went to the emergency room with dog bites in 2008, and about 26 people were admitted each day.
Children under 5 and adults 65 and older were most likely to be hospitalized after a bite, and residents of rural areas made four times as many emergency room visits and had three times as many hospital admissions for dog bites than those from nonrural areas, the report said.
Almost half of the hospitalized patients needed treatment for skin and tissue infections, and more than half needed procedures like skin grafts or wound debridement. Treatment cost an average of $18,200 per person.
All of our local municpalities have passed dangerous animal ordinances. They are not breed specific.
They should check to see if the increase is disproportionally skewed toward city populations. I bet the increase is occurring where young males (humans) are starting to keep dogs to emphasize their "macho" factor, and/or for protection related to drug and gang activity. If there is an increase in aggressive owners, then there will be an increase in aggressive dogs.
The only bites we know about, are those reported to police, Vets, or at a hospital visit. I suspect that most bites never result in an ER visit, if the dog is known to have had it's rabies shots.
Moreover, I'll bet that most bites are never reported, out of fear, or even lack of money.
The American Temperament Test Society publishes its temperament test results by breed. You can find it here:
It needs to be a Dangerous Animal law, not breed specific.
The neighbors have a little shitzu that ran into MY yard and ran up my daughter's leg and chest and attempted to bite her face!!
Swans can attack and beat the heck out of you, too. Neighbors think it's so cute to feed them and allow them to build nests on their property.
Those small dogs can give you a very big bite.
Researchers have stated that the following are factors that increase the possibility of dog bite injury accidents:
having a dog chained or tied-up;
male dogs are found to be more aggressive as compared to female dogs;
dogs that are taken from "puppy mills" or from pet stores show more aggression;
training and discipline is not adequate;
inadequate socialization as a puppy;
fear and the pain experience; and
the first vaccination of the puppy is only after 8 weeks of life.
Low thyroid hormone levels also may cause a dog to become aggressive.