Taking your dog for a risk!

By walking your dog daily, you only think you are having a good time with your pet

Taking your dog for a risk!

By walking your dog daily, you only think you are having a good time with your pet. Without realizing it, you could be putting yourself in danger. According to a recent study by American researchers at Johns-Hopkins University, many injuries - more or less serious - await those who walk their dog. These findings were published in the scientific journal Medicine

Between 2001 and 2020, approximately 422,659 U.S. adults visited emergency rooms for injuries resulting from leashed dogs. In detail, finger fracture, traumatic brain injury, and sprain – or shoulder strain – were the three most common injuries.

The researchers also found that women - and all adults over 65 - were more likely to suffer serious injuries, such as fractures and head trauma. Head trauma and hip fracture were the two most common injuries among people over 65.

“Head injuries identified in this study included both concussions and non-concussive internal head injuries, which may include cerebral contusion (bruising of brain tissue), epidural hematoma (bleeding above the outer membrane of the brain) or subdural hematoma (bleeding under the outer membrane of the brain),” the study release details. The oldest people are more at risk with a double risk of fracture.

"According to a national survey of pet owners conducted between 2021 and 2022, nearly 53% of U.S. households own at least one dog. Dog ownership has also increased significantly in recent years during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although dog walking is a common daily activity for many adults, few studies have characterized its injury burden. We saw the need for more complete information about these types of incidents,” said Ridge Maxson, first author of the study and a third-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University.

Most of the injuries resulted from falling after being pulled, entangled or tripping over the leash attached to the dog they were walking. Edward McFarland, lead author of the study, makes a recommendation to physicians: "We encourage clinicians to screen for pet ownership, assess fracture and fall risk, and discuss safe dog walking practices. during regular health maintenance visits. Despite our findings, we also strongly encourage people to leash their dogs wherever legally required. »