Here's another post that comes secondary to the recommendations I received subsequent to my post on animal news this week (methinks it's probably a "good thing" to continue posting on news items).

To wit, this one has to do with more of the Martha Stewart dog bite thing, a topic whose rehashing I welcome after one of you sent an e-mail alerting me to this: a blog post in which pets are (allegedly) responsible for more injuries than we pet lovers would like to believe.

Here's an excerpt from Cafemom's blog post in which she references Frannie and Martha’s foible and asks whether YOU may be next:

So it wasn't a malicious dog. It was just a dog being a dog. Which is actually pretty typical for human/pet medical cases. Sure, the crazy pitbull tearing off someone's face gets all the press, but guess what is the leading reason people are hospitalized for in relation to their pets?

Fractures! A full 80 percent of the people — mostly older folks — hurt by their pets suffered some sort of broken bone. And here's a startling statistic: out of the 87,000 falls serious enough to land people in ERs between 2001 and 2006, 88 percent were caused by the patient's dog.

But at the end of the day, I can't help agreeing with Martha. She says "Frannie" was as upset about the injury as she was, cowering on the bed. That's the mark of a pet who hurts you on accident rather than a vicious one. Do your pets ever accidentally injure you?

Interesting question. And for my answer? Let me count the ways in which my pets have injured me:

  • As a kid, how many times did I fall off my bike or my skates after trying to turn my dogs into "reindeers"? Dunno but I kept at it, convinced as I was that my dogs would safely pull me along. They never did that I recall.
  • All those horseback riding accidents, including a fractured humerus and dislocated shoulder. Do they count as adverse pet interactions?
  • Tooth to the lower lip during a non-aggressive play session at the tender age of 15. Nary a stitch, but I probably should've had some medical attention (I still have a scar).
  • Lots of headbutts: Teeth in my tongue (my own, thank you very much), bruises to the face, etc.
  • Trip and falls are common in my household when it comes to milking time. Seeing as milking happens twice a day and I keep full-time office hours, it's kind of hard to expect that milking will always take place during daylight. Hence, that rotten stump that always seems to trip me up. Skinned knees and bruises are inevitable.


So how about you? How do your pets spoil your health? Or is this subject much ado about nothing? I mean, given all we get from our pets, should we really quibble over a cut or bruise here and there?

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: Demonstration of power, pt. 2 by Marcin Wichary