A Record Number of Californians Are Visiting Emergency Rooms for Dog Bites

Un articolo interessante sul fenomeno dell’incremento in California delle persone aggredite dai morsi di cani domestici. Questo fenomeno si sarebbe acuito durante e dopo la pandemia. Non abbiamo trovato riscontri e segnalazioni di questo fenomeno in Europa

Those pandemic puppies are growing up to be a public health concern.

The latest California data shows increased rates of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths from dog bites, with new records set after covid lockdowns. In 2022, there were 48,596 ER visits for dog bites in California, or 125 visits per 100,000 residents, a 70% increase in the rate of visits from 2005, according to the state Department of Health Care Access and Information.

The rate of hospitalizations roughly doubled from 2006 through 2022. And although deaths from dog bites are extremely rare, the death rate in California rose about 70% during roughly the same period, with 28 deaths in the state from 2018 through 2022. Nationally, dog bites were the underlying cause of 96 deaths in 2022, while the death rate more than doubled from 2005 to 2022, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even before the pandemic, more Americans were welcoming dogs into their homes. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that households nationwide owned about 86 million dogs in 2020, up from about 62 million in 2001. The pandemic accelerated that trend as millions more people adopted puppies to provide companionship during a period of isolation.

But lockdowns kept puppies from being socialized, said Elizabeth Stelow, chief of the Behavior Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. For healthy development, she said, puppies need to learn acceptable behavior between their first three weeks and 16 weeks of life.

“You’re supposed to socialize that puppy to new kinds of people, new kinds of animals, new kinds of places, new kinds of everything,” Stelow said. “Nobody was able to do that. So we’re seeing the effects of that all the time right now.”

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