Study: It’s a Family Dog That Bites

Monday, June 01, 2015
Phoenix — Prior studies have shown that most dog bite injuries result from family dogs. A new study conducted by Mayo Clinic and Phoenix Children’s Hospital shed some further light on the nature of these injuries.

The recently published study, in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, demonstrated that more than 50 percent of the dog-bite injuries treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital came from dogs belonging to an immediate family member.

The retrospective study looked at a 74-month period between 2007 and 2013 in which there were 670 dog bite injuries treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Of those, 282 were severe enough to require evaluation by the trauma team or transportation by ambulance. Characteristics of the most common injuries included:

∎ Both genders were affected (55 percent male)

∎ The most common patient age was 5 years, but spanned from 2 months to 17 years.

∎ 28 dog breeds were identified and the most common dog was pit bull.

∎ More than 50 percent of the dogs belonged to the patient’s immediate family.

∎ The most common injuries were lacerations (often to the face), but there were also a number of fractures and critical injuries such as severe neck and genital trauma.

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