What kind of injuries besides bites can dogs do to humans?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra,

I have two Pugs. A boy and a girl. My little boy, Taylor, weighs 28 pounds. My little girl, Bailey, weights 24. They get walked twice a day. First thing in the morning and late in the day. Sometimes they'll see another dog or cat and go nuts and unexpectedly try to go after them and in so doing, my arm gets jolted like nothing I've ever felt before. The pain took a few weeks to set in but today I'm in pain. I can't lift my arm very high and certainly can't put any pressure on it. I tried taking a Motrin but it didn't seem to help.Have you ever done any e-mails on owner injuries?Your anticipated response would be greatly appreciated.Thank you!

Love My Pugs!!! – Jo


Hi – thanks for your email. Jo – you brought up a very interesting question. To be honest – one that I had not thought about.

You wrote that your excited pugs will jerk your arm. Right now – you wrote that it hurts and you can't put any pressure on it. I'd recommend that you see your physician. You may have soft tissue damage or a ligament injury. I don't know but they may even want to x-ray your arm.

It seems most dog injuries are always focused on bite reports but dogs can cause a number of injuries to people. Many of injuries are not on purpose but just the presence of another "thing" around can cause trauma. In this capacity dogs are not innately dangerous but the combination of forces can cause accidents. For example, I can't tell you how many times I've heard of someone falling because a dog jumped on them, ran under their feet, they accidently stepped on their tail, or the dog started to run or knocked them off balance.

Again, it is not that dogs are innately dangerous. It is like having any item or person around. For example, you may have a step stool in your home (I'm not saying dogs are like step stools but I'm trying to make a point). The step stool is not innately dangerous unless you fall getting on or off of it.

Dogs can pull you, cause falls, I've seen leashes wrapped around arms and hands causing lacerations or burns, dogs moving in cars causing accidents, etc. However Jo –I've never read a report of all the injuries a dog can cause people on a regular basis outside of bite wounds.

In fact, I think we will do a survey and try to find out how frequent injuries are and what kind they are. Once users finish the survey – I'll publish it on petplace – so keep your eye out. To fill out the survey – go to Owner Injuries by Dogs and Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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