While there are many benefits to owning a pet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 86,000 falls a year are attributed to Fido and Fluffy.
Pets underfoot are a hazard particularly for senior citizens. Altogether pet induced falls amount to about one percent of injuries from falls. Most cause minor minor injury.
This is the first government study of injuries related to pets.
Judy Stevens, an epidemiologist, says her report released Thursday, came from the many inquiries she gets at conferences about pet induced falls. Cats tend to get underfoot, but dogs were the cause of the higher number of falls either by people tripping on toys, dogs pulling owners on the leash or people chasing dogs who ran away.
The data comes from emergency room reports from 66 hospitals from 2001 through 2006. In all, about three out of every 10,000 falls has something to do with a pet underfoot or pet toys. The incidents were nearly twice as high for individuals over the age of 75, particularly if they are women.
Ten percent of the falls are serious, leading to broken bones or internal injuries. Some require hospitalization.
Older Americans with pets are advised to have them obedience trained, choose smaller dogs or those easier to control, and to put away pet toys at the end of the day. #