Saturday, December 11, 2010

If you hear about dog bites today, it’s probably my fault.

In the part of my life that pays me, I do a lot of writing.  E-mails, reports, contracts, proposals, web copy, notes to myself reminding me to write something else tomorrow.  Occasionally my work involves writing research articles.

One that I wrote was recently published is getting some mainstream pick-up (which has been weird, exciting, and pretty neat to tell my folks about).  Two of my favorite animal blogs covered it this week, so I felt it was probably time to mention it here.

The article discusses the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations related to dog bites and characteristics for these encounters.  The numbers are wild—more than 316,000 ED visits and 9,500 hospital stays in the US related to dog bites.  Now, we’re not talking all of them; these are just for the people that sought medical help for their bites.  Can you imagine how many there actually are that DON’T go to the doctor?  That number’s got to be astronomical!

The article can be found here.  By format definition, it doesn’t go into reasons why this is happening or make any conclusions or recommendations to prevent the situation.  But WE can discuss it here.

My recommendations would be take your dog to training school to prevent certain behaviors, approach dogs you don’t know carefully (both those that are pets and strays), and don’t harass agitated/nervous dogs.

Also, my inner 10-year-old would like to suggest not trying to catch an aggravated Dachshund in a box for fun, even if your friend’s grandpa’s done it a thousand times.

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