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Pets Cause Over 80,000 Fall Injuries Each Year

By David Goguen | Last updated on
It's not just rain, but also pet owners that are falling down like cats and dogs. Over 80,000 Americans each year take a trip to their local ER after falls caused by family pets or things like chew toys and pet food dishes, according to a study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC looked at data from falls reported from 2001 to 2006, and found that an estimated 86,629 fall injuries per year over that five-year period could be linked to dogs and cats. Overall, walking dogs and chasing the family pet (cat or dog) were associated with the most falls, and pet owners over the age of 75 were most likely to suffer an injury. The most common pet-related fall injuries were contusions/abrasions and bone fractures. 

Cat lovers can rejoice, because the study showed that over 85 percent of injuries from pet-related falls were caused by dogs and their toys. According to the Washington Post, the report showed that "about one-quarter of the dog-related falls occurred during walks, about 3 percent while running away from a dog and one-half of 1 percent while breaking up a fight. In one-third of the falls, a person tripped over the dog. Being pulled by the animal caused a fifth of the falls."

CDC recommends that "Prevention strategies should focus on 1) increasing public awareness of pets and pet items as fall hazards and of situations that can lead to fall injuries and 2) reinforcing American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations emphasizing obedience training for dogs." The study was published this week in the CDC's sunshine-titled "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report."



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