I feel your pain, Ms. Stewart, I really do.
This post is brought to you as your Word on Health blogger recovers from knee surgery stemming from another pet-related injury. And while I wish the analgesia would take away not only the pain, but also the humiliating memory of being dragged face first along a muddy riverbank by my canine companions as they attempted to become better acquainted with a passing pooch, I take some comfort from the fact that Martha and I are not alone.
People, it seems are not only falling for their pets, apparently, large numbers of us are falling over them, too.
In fact, a national sample of ER visits from 60 hospitals over a six year period reported 7,456 visits were related to falls caused by pets. On a national level, this translates to nearly 90,000 fall injuries associated with cats and dogs per year. Dogs are 7 times more likely to cause falls than cats and women are twice as likely as men to be injured as a result.
That’s the equivalent of 240 ER trips a day, and roughly 1% of the 8 million visits for falls of all sorts.
Exactly how many of the falls occurred isn’t known. Nevertheless, the study, gives a rough sketch of hazardous activities. Almost 35% of injuries are caused by tripping over the animal while about 25% occurred during walks. Surprisingly, less than 3% result from running away from a dog, and <0.5% percent while breaking up a dog-fight. Being pulled by the animal caused a fifth of the falls.
While one-third of the falls broke bones, about one-quarter caused bruises, one-fifth caused sprains and a little more than one-tenth caused cuts. Nothing on the list, I note, about tearing a cartilage – trust my dogs to go one step better!
Been injured by Fido or Fluffy? Share your stories with us.