Angel Fund Helps Rescue Beba and Alvarado Family

A few months ago, Laura Alvarado said, her family noticed a beautiful gray cat spending time in their backyard in Long Beach. 

“The cat looked scared and it was hanging around in our yard.  So we decided to rescue it.  It was very friendly and it came to us,” Laura said.  “My mom took the cat in the house and took care of her.  We had never had cats, just dogs before. We got her the shots she needed and had her spayed.”

But not long after taking in the cat they named Beba, a beautiful short-haired gray domestic, the Alvarado family got some shocking news. Beba was pregnant – and she needed to have a cesarean section.  Leticia, Laura’s mother, had taken Beba to Los Coyotes Pet Hospital, where she was examined by Dr. Sonah Jo.

In early April, the surgery was performed.  None of the kittens survived.  “Dr. Jo told us to give Beba a lot of love because cats mourn the death of their kittens,” Laura said.  “We have been giving her as much love as we can and she’s doing great.”

The Alvarado family gets by on a limited income.  Leticia had to quit her job to provide care for a son, Gustavo Jr., who is disabled.  Gustavo, the father, can no longer work and gets a disability check.  Laura works as a probation officer in Riverside.  She spends half her days there and the other half at her parents’ home.

Dr. Jo told Leticia about Angel Fund.  “We couldn’t have paid for the surgery without it,” Laura said. “When Angel Fund was brought to our attention, it was just a sigh of relief.  We didn’t think when we rescued Beba, that we’d have to be so involved financially.

“Angel Fund was really great.  What they did for us was amazing.”  The grant was for $232.49, an amount matched by the hospital.   “We were devastated by what happened,” Laura said.  “We didn’t know what to do.”   Angel Fund helped provide the Alvarado family with the answer.  

Service Dogs Lead to Fewer Seizures in Resistant Epilepsy

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Medscape Medical News by Eve Bender  March 12, 2024

Working with medically trained service dogs is associated with a 31% reduction in seizures compared with usual care in treatment-resistant epilepsy, a new study showed.

Investigators speculate that the dogs may ease participants’ stress, leading to a decrease in seizure frequency, although they note this relationship warrants more study.

“Despite the development of numerous antiseizure medications over the past 15 years, up to 30% of people with epilepsy experience persistent seizures,” study author Valérie van Hezik-Wester, MSc, of Erasmus University Rotterdam in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, said in a press release.

The unpredictable nature of seizures is one of the most disabling aspects of epilepsy, Hezik-Wester added. Seizure dogs are trained to recognize seizures and respond when they occur.

“The tasks that these dogs perform along with their companionship may reduce seizure-related anxiety, also potentially reducing seizures caused by stress, the most common trigger for seizures,” she said.

The findings were published online on February 28 in Neurology.

Improve Quality of Life

The study included 25 individuals with medically refractory epilepsy who had an average of two or more seizures per week, with seizure characteristics associated with a high risk for injuries or dysfunction. They also had to be able to care for a service dog.

All were observed under usual care, which included antiseizure medications, neurostimulation devices, and other supportive therapies. Participants could then choose to work with a service dog that had completed socialization and obedience training or be assigned a puppy they would train at home.

The median follow-up was 19 months with usual care and 12 months with the intervention. Participants recorded seizure activity in diaries and completed surveys on seizure severity, quality of life, and well-being every 3 months. Daily seizure counts were converted to obtain cumulative seizure frequencies over 28-day periods.

Of the 25 original participants, six discontinued trial participation before the end of follow-up, four of whom left the study due to difficulty with dog care and training.

Participants receiving usual care reported an average of 115 seizures per 28-day period, while those with trained service dogs recorded 73 seizures in the same period, or a 37% difference between groups.

Researchers found that participants had an average of 31% fewer seizures during the past 3 months when they had seizure dogs, with seven participants achieving a 50%-100% reduction in seizures.

The number of seizure-free days increased from an average of 11 days per 28-day period before receiving a service dog to 15 days after working with a dog.

Scores on the EQ-5D-5L, which measures perceived health problems, decreased on average by 2.5% per consecutive 28-day period with the intervention, reflecting an increase in generic health-related quality of life (0.975; 95% CI, 0.954-0.997).

“These findings show that seizure dogs can help people with epilepsy,” said van Hezik-Wester. “However, we also found that this partnership with seizure dogs might not be the right fit for everyone, as some people discontinued their participation in this program. More research is needed to better understand which people can benefit from working with seizure dogs.”

Enhanced Quality of Life

In an accompanying editorial, Amir Mbonde, MB, and Amy Crepeau, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, noted the findings add to a growing body of work on the effectiveness of service dogs in reducing seizure frequency.

“In addition to improved seizure control, the EPISODE study demonstrated the benefit of seizure dogs in enhancing the quality of life for patients, a crucial component of comprehensive epilepsy care,” they wrote.

In prior studies, seizure dogs have identified an odor that a person emits before a seizure in up to 97% of people, they noted, adding that this ability “offers immense clinical benefits to people with epilepsy, enhancing their independence, social engagement, employment opportunities, self-confidence, and thus quality of life.”

Study limitations include its small sample size and high attrition rate.

The study was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development and Innovatiefonds Zorgverzekeraars. Smith and Jones reported no relevant financial relationships. The authors reported no disclosures.

Lead image: Audrey Butterfuss/Dreamstime

Medscape Medical News © 2024 WebMD, LLC

Send comments and news tips to news@medscape.net.

Cat-transmitted sporotrichosis: A looming threat?

infectious disease news logo

ByCaitlyn Stulpin Fact checked byCarol L. DiBerardino, MLA, ELS

A potential threat on the CDC’s radar is a fungal infection being transmitted by feral cats — initially in Brazil, but now in other countries as well.

IDN0324Chiller_Graphic_01_WEB
Cats carry high loads of Sporothrix brasiliensis 
that are easily transmitted to other animals and humans.
Image: Adobe Stock

The CDC issued a warning last year about the potential threat of sporotrichosis in the U.S.

According to CDC, cats carry high loads of Sporothrix brasiliensis that are easily transmitted to other animals and humans via bites and scratches, contact with lesions, droplet exposure and inhalation.

“It’s super contagious, so you can imagine where it just took off in the feral cat population. There are hundreds of thousands of feral cats in these cities,” Tom M. Chiller, MD, MPHTM, chief of the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, told Healio, referring to the large cities in Brazil where it was first recognized. “Before you knew it, you saw this increase from 100 cases to 1,000 to hundreds of thousands of cases in cats.”

According to the CDC, sporotrichosis has spread across Brazil and other areas of South America but has not been identified in the U.S.

“A cat can shake its head and the spores can fly and land on your skin and you can become infected. That’s unheard of for these types of fungi,” Chiller said. “It’s a bit freaky that this organism has the ability now to be infectious in this other form. That concerns me.”

In 2022, researchers reported the first three cases of cat-transmitted sporotrichosis outside South America, occurring in the United Kingdom. According to the report, the first case was in an older woman with no history of recent travel to Brazil or immunosuppression who was scratched by a domestic cat. The second case occurred in the woman’s daughter, who also had no history of recent travel to Brazil but had been scratched by the same cat. The third case was in a healthy veterinarian who was scratched by the same cat during an exam at his veterinary practice.

The infections were “likely acquired from an indoor domestic cat which had previously lived in South-Eastern Brazil 3 years previously,” the authors concluded. “This suggests that S. brasiliensis can lay dormant for many years and has implications for global public health.”

The authors urged veterinarians to be vigilant in taking a travel history when seeing cats with unexplained lesions and for animal health authorities worldwide to reexamine border control policies to consider pre-import screening of cats from endemic areas.

According to Chiller, no human-to-human transmission has been documented yet.

References:

Published by:infectious disease news logo

Novel cancer vaccine offers new hope for dogs — and those who love them

A Yale researcher developed a vaccine that can slow or halt certain cancers in dogs. And it could be used to treat humans in the future.

By Mallory Locklear march 5, 2024

During a sunny morning on Florida’s Gulf Coast last month, an 11-year-old golden retriever named Hunter bounded through a pine grove. Snatching his favorite toy, a well-chewed tennis ball attached to a short rope, he rolled through the tall grass, with an energy that seemed inexhaustible. A passerby might not have even noticed that this playful golden has only three legs.

For Deana Hudgins, the dog’s owner, it seems almost unthinkable that two years ago Hunter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that kills upwards of 65% of the dogs it afflicts within 12 months, in his left front leg.

For many years Hunter worked alongside his owner as a search-and-rescue dog, helping find victims of building collapses and other disasters. He no longer performs those duties, but does still help Hudgins train other dogs. The energetic golden can also run, fetch, and catch as well as ever.

And two years since his initial diagnosis, Hunter has no signs of cancer. The dog’s life-saving treatment incorporated typical approaches, including amputation of the left leg and chemotherapy. But Hunter also received a novel therapy — a cancer vaccine developed by Yale’s Mark Mamula.

If we can provide some benefit, some relief — a pain-free life — that is the best outcome that we could ever have.”

The treatment, a form of immunotherapy that is currently under review by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates animal treatments, has been subject to multiple clinical trials over the past eight years. And the results are promising; for hundreds of dogs, including Hunter, the vaccine has proved effective.

Mamula, a professor of medicine (rheumatology) at Yale School of Medicine, believes the vaccine offers a badly needed weapon in the fight against canine cancer.

“Dogs, just like humans, get cancer spontaneously; they grow and metastasize and mutate, just like human cancers do,” said Mamula. “My own dog died of an inoperable cancer about 11 years ago. Dogs just like humans suffer greatly from their cancers.

“If we can provide some benefit, some relief — a pain-free life — that is the best outcome that we could ever have.”

Even as recently as a decade ago, Mamula didn’t anticipate that he would one day develop a cancer vaccine for dogs. A rheumatology researcher, he studies autoimmune diseases like lupus and Type 1 diabetes and how the body gives rise to them.

But that work eventually led him to cancer research as well.

Autoimmune diseases, Mamula says, are characterized by the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues; in the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system targets cells in the pancreas.

Then several years ago, using what they knew about autoimmunity, Mamula and his research team developed a potential cancer treatment that they say initiates a targeted immune response against tumors.

“In many ways tumors are like the targets of autoimmune diseases,” he said. “Cancer cells are your own tissue and are attacked by the immune system. The difference is we want the immune system to attack a tumor.”

It was a chance meeting with a veterinary oncologist soon thereafter that made Mamula think that this novel treatment might work well in dogs.

Targeting tumors

Hunter
About 10,000 dogs are diagnosed each year with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. With typical treatment, only 30% of dogs with this type of cancer live longer than 12 months. (Courtesy of Deana Hudgins)

There are about 90 million dogs, living in 65 million households, in the United States alone. Around one in four dogs will get cancer. Among dogs 10 years or older, that ratio jumps to around one in two.

Yet the therapies used to treat these cancers remain fairly antiquated, Mamula says.

“There have been very few new canine cancer treatments developed in decades — it’s a field that is begging for improvement,” he said.

In 2015, Mamula met a veterinary oncologist named Gerry Post. During his 35-year career Post has treated cancer in snakes, turtles, and zoo animals. But most of his patients are dogs and cats.

Through conversations with Post, Mamula realized that it wouldn’t be difficult to make the leap from human to dog cancers. Together they would launch an early-phase study into Mamula’s dog cancer vaccine.

“Dog and human cancers are quite similar in a number of ways,” said Post, chief medical officer of One Health Company, a canine cancer treatment group, and an adjunct professor of comparative medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “Whether it’s how the cancers appear under the microscope, how the cancers behave, respond to chemotherapy, develop resistance, and metastasize.”

After talking with a veterinary oncologist, Mamula realized that it wouldn’t be difficult to make the leap from addressing human cancers to dog cancers.

Even the types of cancers that afflict dogs and humans are similar. Like humans, dogs can get melanoma, breast cancer, colon cancer, and osteosarcoma, among others.

When it comes to curing these diseases, these similarities bring an important benefit: understanding cancer in one species will help scientists understand cancer in the other. And treatments that work well for one may actually work well for both.

Several types of cancers in both humans and dogs have been found to overexpress proteins known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These include colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and osteosarcoma. One type of treatment currently given to human patients with these cancers involves monoclonal antibodies, proteins that can bind to and affect the function of EGFR and/or HER2. However, patients can develop a resistance to them and their effects wane over time.

For their treatment, Mamula and his team wanted to take a different approach.

Monoclonal antibody treatments are produced from one immune cell and bind to one part of the EGFR/HER2 molecules, but Mamula and his team wanted to induce a polyclonal response.

Doing so, he says, would create antibodies from multiple immune cells, rather than just one, which could bind to multiple parts of the EGFR/HER2 molecules instead of a single area. This would, in theory, reduce the likelihood of developing resistance.

The research team, led by Hester Doyle and Renelle Gee, who are both members of Mamula’s Yale lab, with assistance from the New Haven-based biotechnology company L2 Diagnostics, LLC, tested many different candidates in order to find just the right compound. They eventually found one.

After first testing it in mice, and finding promising results, they initiated their first clinical trial in dogs in 2016.

Hester Doyle, Mark Mamula, Renelle Gee.
In Mamula’s lab, from left, Hester Doyle, Mark Mamula, and Renelle Gee. (Photo by Allie Barton)

‘I was willing to try whatever I could’

Deana Hudgins knew there was something special about Hunter before she brought him home as an 8-week-old puppy, back in 2012, and began training him to be her next search-and-rescue partner.

The smallest of 18 puppies from two litters, Hunter wasn’t the obvious choice when she began looking for a partner.

“He was the runt,” said Hudgins, who has been training search-and-rescue dogs since 2001 and now runs her own company, the Center for Forensic Training and Education, which provides canine training in Ohio and Florida. “But in his case, it made him a little scrappy. He was small but very confident and very brave.

“When all of the other puppies were sleeping at the end of the day, he was still running around, climbing all of the toys, retrieving things. We need confident puppies, and that’s what he possessed.”

Hunter searching debris after Hurricane Michael made landfall in 2018.
Hunter searches debris after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida in 2018. (Courtesy of Deana Hudgins)

By the time he was a year old, Hunter began aiding searches at sites across the United States, working with local law enforcement and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), following natural disasters. His first search, in 2014, was at the site of a mudslide in Oso, Washington that killed 43 people. In his final FEMA search, he helped search for victims of the devastating condominium collapse in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, in June 2021. Hunter was involved in hundreds of searches in the years between.

In 2022, Hunter was still very active — and had just earned another service certification — when Hudgins noticed that he seemed uncharacteristically sore following a five-day training class.

“I’ve always been very proactive with my dogs because I spend every day with them, and so I notice very little things,” she said. “And he’s not a dog to limp.”

A veterinarian assumed that Hunter had strained something, suggesting anti-inflammatories, but Hudgins insisted on an x-ray. The test revealed the osteosarcoma in Hunter’s leg.

After doing a lot of research, and consulting with different veterinary groups about what steps to take, Hudgins decided that amputation offered the best chance for Hunter’s survival, along with chemotherapy.

Hudgins and her dog (and former sergeant rescue partner) Hunter
Hudgins with Hunter, her dog (and former search-and-rescue partner). (Courtesy of Deana Hudgins)

But during that research, Hudgins had also come across Mamula’s vaccine trial. So she reached out to a colleague, James Hatch, a former Navy SEAL who trained dogs in the military and whose nonprofit supports service dogs. Hudgins knew that Hatch also happened to be at Yale, where he is a student in the Eli Whitney Students Program.

“I was willing to try whatever I could to keep [Hunter] around as long as possible,” said Hudgins. “We ask a lot of our working dogs. They work in environments that are very dangerous and often deadly. And my promise to all of them is I will do whatever I have to do to give them the best, healthiest, longest life possible. Dogs don’t survive this disease so there was no downside to me for trying the vaccine.”

Hatch connected her with Mamula, and soon Hunter was part of the clinical trial. He received his first vaccine dose ahead of his amputation surgery, his second before initiating chemotherapy, and a booster last summer.

Twenty-two months since his cancer diagnosis, Hunter is now considered a long-term osteosarcoma survivor and Hudgins says he’s thriving.

“He adjusted very well to his front limb amputation,” she said. “He continues to run around the yard. He swims in the pool. He comes with me to training and chases the other dogs around the yard.”

Hunter, with three legs, on a boat
After consulting with doctors at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, Hudgins decided to have Hunter’s front left leg amputated. Hudgins credits that surgery, along with the Yale-developed vaccine, for the osteosarcoma remission. (Courtesy of Deana Hudgins)

During a recent morning in Florida, Hunter drifted toward a nearby pond while playing outside. Hudgins, knowing the potential risks of straying too close to a pond in Florida (“There are alligators everywhere.”), quickly called him back. Hunter immediately returned to her.

“From a very young age, Hunter wanted to learn the rules of the game,” she said. “He was eager to go to work every day. I am very, very lucky to have been able to be his partner for 10 years. Hunter is one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs.”

‘A whole new toolbox’

Hunter’s positive response to the treatment is one many other dogs have experienced as well.

To date, more than 300 dogs have been treated with the vaccine during a series of clinical trials, which are still ongoing at 10 sites in the U.S. and Canada. The findings, which have been published in a peer-reviewed study, have shown that the treatment creates antibodies that are able to home in on and bind to tumors, and then interfere with the signaling pathways responsible for tumor growth.

According to the research team, the vaccine increases the 12-month survival rates of dogs with certain cancers from about 35% to 60%. For many of the dogs, the treatment also shrinks tumors.

While future studies will determine if the vaccine can reduce the incidence of cancer in healthy dogs, the treatment for now remains a therapeutic treatment option after a cancer diagnosis has been made.

Witnessing the happiness that successful therapies provide to families with dogs is incredibly rewarding.

But even this represents something more than just “a new tool” in the fight against canine cancer, Post says. It’s a whole new toolbox.

“And in veterinary oncology, our toolbox is much smaller than that of human oncology,” he said. “This vaccine is truly revolutionary. I couldn’t be more excited to be a veterinary oncologist.”

Mamula has created a company, called TheraJan, which aims to eventually produce the vaccine. Last year, the company (whose name is inspired, in part, by the late Yale immunologist Charles Janeway, who was Mamula’s mentor) won a Faculty Innovation Award from Yale Ventures, a university initiative that supports innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and beyond.

While launching clinical tests of the vaccine’s effectiveness in humans may be a logical future step, for now Mamula is focused on getting USDA approval of the vaccine for dogs and distributed for wider use.

No matter where it goes, it’s a project close to his heart.

Mamula on a beach in Madison, CT with his golden retrievers Tripp and Sherman.
Mamula on a beach in Madison, Connecticut, with his golden retrievers, Tripp, left, and Sherman. (Photo by Allie Barton)

“I get many emails from grateful dog owners who had been told that their pets had weeks or months to live but who are now two or three years past their cancer diagnosis,” he said. “It’s a program that’s not only valuable to me as a dog lover. Witnessing the happiness that successful therapies provide to families with dogs is incredibly rewarding.”

And once the vaccine becomes available for public use, he says, for working dogs like Hunter it will always be free of charge.

 media contact Fred Mamoun: fred.mamoun@yale.edu, 203-436-2643

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Ear Mites in Dogs

Not all messy ear conditions are due to mites. Learn to recognize the signs of ear mites in dogs and get appropriate treatment for your dog’s ear mite infection.

By Dr. Jennifer Bailey, DVMPublished: February 27, 2024

Ear mites in dogs are one of many potential causes of ear discomfort.
Not all dirty or infected ears are due to ear mites. If your dog is shaking his head or scratching at his ears, see your veterinarian. It’s important to treat medical conditions quickly and appropriately. Photo by Zonica, Getty Images

Are itchy, stinky ears interfering with your dog’s daily dose of fun? A quick internet search might lead you to ear mites in dogs as the culprit. You can try administering an ear mite medication in your dog’s ears to alleviate his discomfort. But before you reach for that over-the-counter ear mite medication, you should know more about ear mites in dogs, and learn when to call in a professional (in other words, your dog’s veterinarian!).

Otodectes cynotis is an ear mite that infects the ear canals of dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets. Although this species of ear mite prefers these three species of mammals, any mammalian species will satisfy its needs for survival. It survives by ingesting the dead skin cells and ceruminous exudate (ear wax) that line the ear canals.

Symptoms of ear mites in dogs

Ear mites in dogs cause a noticeable discharge that resembles coffee grounds.
It’s important to treat infections of any kind with the appropriate medication; otherwise the infection may drag on, causing needless suffering and side effects. Photo by Evgenia Glinskaia. Getty Images

Ear mites in dogs cause an inflammatory reaction in their ear canals. This is what causes your dog to scratch at his ears and shake his head. The ceruminous glands that line your dog’s ear canals ramp up production of even more ear wax to drive out the ear mites. That smelly, dark brown, crumbly discharge in your dog’s ears is a combination of ear wax, ear mites, and their excrement. It often resembles the color and texture of coffee grounds.

Dogs who have ear mites will often develop a secondary bacterial and/or yeast infection in their ears. This can change the color and texture of the ear discharge from crumbly brown to creamy yellow or green. Sometimes the discharge may be mixed with blood if your dog scratches his ears so hard that they bleed.

If it becomes too crowded inside your dog’s ears, then some of the mites will leave the ear canals to find more spacious living quarters. Ear mites can live on the skin surface outside of your dog’s ears, snacking on skin oils and dead skin cells. They can be found crawling on the skin around the ears and on the neck and face. When your dog curls up in a ball to sleep, the mites can crawl out of the ears onto the skin of the rear end or tail. Mites will cause itchiness wherever they reside, so dogs with ear mites may scratch and develop skin redness and bald spots in areas besides their ears.

The only way to accurately diagnose an ear mite infestation is to examine a sample of your dog’s ear discharge under a microscope. The average length of an ear mite is only three-tenths of a millimeter. While this is too small to be seen by most people’s unaided eyes, ear mites can be easily spotted under a low-power microscope lens.

Treatment for ear mites in dogs

There are several treatments available to rid your dog of ear mites. But the only dogs who should receive treatment for ear mites are ones who have been diagnosed with ear mites or who live in a home with a pet who has been diagnosed with ear mites. Ear infections caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of bacteria and yeast can look similar to ear mite infestations.

It is important to know what you are treating before you treat. Using the incorrect treatment can worsen the underlying problem, cause more pain for your dog, and may lead to hearing loss or deafness. If your dog is scratching at his ears, shaking his head, and having discharge from his ears, have your dog examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the best course of treatment.

How do dogs get ear mites?

Ear mites spend their entire life cycle on one or more host animals. Ear mites can live for a few days in the environment but cannot survive without being on a host animal.

Ear mites spread by crawling between animals. They cannot hop or jump. To become infested with ear mites, a dog must have direct contact either with another animal who has ear mites or the gunk that recently came out of an infected animal’s ears.

How to prevent ear mites in dogs

Regularly use a flea or heartworm preventative that contains an ingredient shown to be effective against ear mites, such as Revolution, Advantage Multi, Interceptor, Nexgard, Bravecto, or Simparica.

If there are cats in the home who venture outside, regularly use a flea preventative on those cats that contains an ingredient shown to be effective against ear mites, such as Revolution, Advantage Multi, or Bravecto.

If there are ferrets in the home who venture outside on a harness and leash or rabbits in the home who spend time outdoors in a hutch or pen, talk to your veterinarian about applying Revolution monthly to these pets. This is an off-label use of Revolution in these species and must be prescribed and dosed correctly by your veterinarian.

Dr. Jennifer Bailey, DVM

Dr. Jennifer Bailey is a 2012 graduate of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. She is an emergency and urgent care veterinarian at an emergency and specialty practice in Syracuse, New York.

What To Do If Your Dog Or Cat Is Stung By A Bee

Exploring new places with your pets often includes spending time outdoors. And being out in nature means you’re more likely to run into stinging insects. In this post you’ll learn what to do if your dog or cat is stung by a bee.

No one likes being stung. At the very least, it’s going to be uncomfortable. And because dogs and cats can have allergic reactions similar to humans, being stung by a bee can be a serious concern. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to help keep the bees at bay.

Avoid Confrontations

The safest strategy is to avoid a tangle with the wrong insect … though convincing your pets to cooperate can be difficult! So, it’s important to take some precautions to help your dog or cat stay away from bees.

Start in your yard by growing plants like chrysanthemums, lemongrass, or primrose, which don’t attract bees. When you and your pet are outside, burn citronella candles and don’t leave food outdoors. And make sure you’ve trained your dog to “leave it” whenever he’s tempted to put his nose where it doesn’t belong.

Your Dog Or Cat Has Stung By A Bee – Now What?!

Still, even if you take all the precautions, accidents happen. Pets can be stung on the face, inside the mouth, on their paws, or on other parts of their bodies if they snap at, sit on, or step on a bee. So it’s best to be prepared!

How To Tell If Your Pet Has Been Stung

If you don’t actually see your dog cat get stung by a bee you’ll need to look for other clues of the encounter. Check for swelling, pawing at the face, or obsessive licking. These are signs that your best friend has met business end of a stinger.

If you notice these symptoms, you’ll need to watch your pet carefully for the next few hours. Some animals, like some people, are highly sensitive to insect toxin. In those cases, your pet could experience Anaphylactic Shock, a severe allergic reaction which can cause the circulatory system to shut down.

Signs Of A Serious Allergic Reaction To A Bee Sting

If you notice any of the following symptoms, which usually occur within an hour of the sting, DO NOT DELAY in getting veterinary care:

1. Severe and profuse swelling (i.e. entire face as opposed to just the lip)

2. Difficulty breathing or increased respiratory effort possibly due to throat swelling

3. Very pale or blue-tinged mucous membranes (inner lips and gums)

4. Rapid and/or irregular pulse

5. Prolonged Capillary Refill Time (Refer to “Checking Your Pet’s Vital Signs,” but if gums are pale, or if it takes longer than 2 seconds for the color to return to the gum when pressed with your finger, your pet needs immediate medical care.)

Treating Your Pet’s Bee Sting

Even if your pet doesn’t appear to be having a severe reaction, the sting might still be painful. Keep a close on him while you gather the following items:

  • Cold Pack
  • Baking Soda or Meat Tenderizer Containing Papain
  • Epi-pen, if your pet has had previous encounters with bees and is known to be allergic
  • Water
  • Syringe, Eye Dropper, or Spray Bottle
  • Diphenhydramine/Benadryl®
    (Note: The product you purchase should contain diphenhydramine as the only active ingredient. Some products contain additional ingredients such as xylitol (in Benadryl no-sugar syrups) or decongestants such as pseudoepinephrine. Both xylitol and pseudoepinephrine are potentially lethal to dogs. So check with your vet, and only consider giving Benadryl if it contains diphenhydramine and nothing else.)

Depending on where your dog or cat has been stung by bee, there are some steps you can take to help speed their recovery.

IF THE STING IS INSIDE THE MOUTH:

— Offer your pet an ice cube or small amount of ice water to minimize swelling

— Seek immediate advice from your veterinarian, as the mucous membranes of the mouth will more quickly absorb the insect toxin. Should your pet’s tongue swell, giving rescue breathing might be impossible, and a veterinarian will be best equipped to help.

IF THE STING IS ELSEWHERE ON THE BODY:

The stinger might be concealed in your pet’s fur, or it could already have been pawed away. But if you can see it, flick it away with a credit card, popsicle stick, or your finger nail. Do not pull the stinger with your fingers or tweezers as you can puncture the poison sac, allowing more toxin to enter your pet’s body.

If you have an epi-pen prescribed specifically for your pet due to previous allergic reactions, read and follow the attached instructions. Follow up immediately with your veterinarian as anaphylaxis can occur.

If you can locate the sting site, dab it with a paste made from 1 Tablespoon baking soda or meat tenderizer mixed with a drop of water. (Meat tenderizer and baking soda are both alkaline and work to counteract the acidity of the toxin. Also, the papain in tenderizers breaks down the protein in the toxin.)

Administer diphenhydramine (Benadryl® antihistamine). While this medication is generally considered safe for cats and dogs, consult with your veterinarian to determine the proper dosage. Also discuss any other medications your pet is taking and any pre-existing medical conditions. Diphenhydramine will help relieve mild allergic reactions and make your pet sleepy, allowing him to relax and prevent him from scratching the sting site. If swelling persists for more than 6-8 hours, consult your veterinarian for further treatment.

Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling, but remove every few minutes to avoid frostbite. Placing the cold pack in a damp washcloth will help keep your pet’s skin from getting too cold.

Homeopathic Tip: Apis Meliffica, also known as Honey Bee, can aid the body in reducing the burning or stinging pain.

Preparations For Traveling With Pets

Of course, bee stings don’t always happen when you’re at home. So make sure the items you’ll need to treat a bee sting are in the first aid kit in your car and in your hiking backpack.

Also, if your pet is too large to fit into your backpack, consider getting an emergency sling (affiliate link) that would allow you to carry him back to your car.

Being prepared allows you to give your pet the attention he needs quickly. And the sooner he’s better, the sooner you can both get back to having fun.

About the Author: Denise Fleck has trained with 12 national animal organizations and has taught more than 10,000 pet lovers animal life-saving skills. She’s developed courses, written nine books, and created a line of pet first aid kits and posters so people can help their pets BEFORE veterinary care can be reached.

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Give Them Time!

Shelter and rescued dogs need safe space and enough time to decompress before you should make any serious judgments about them.

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By Nancy KernsPublished:February 29, 2024

When you bring home a dog from a rescue or shelter they need time.
We won’t really know what kind of dog he is for weeks or months; we need to give him time and space to learn all about him. But I suspect that Chief is going to make the right family very happy.

Today I am dog-sitting Chief, a 1-year-old German Shepherd-mix from my local shelter – just for the day. He’s actually being fostered by my favorite person at the shelter, my friend Lynee.

Chief was brought to the shelter over a year ago as a young pup. As yet ANOTHER uneducated, no-manners, anxious, all-black dog in a shelter full of them, he has lingered and lingered. He got adopted once but was brought back because the family’s old dog didn’t like him. (Few old dogs like wild young dogs with no social skills, especially within days of having the wild youngster arrive in their homes.)

Recently, Chief got adopted again – but he was so overwhelmed in the new family’s home that he hid behind the couch and wouldn’t come out. When the family tried to insist, reaching behind the couch with a leash, he growled at them. Since the family brought him home on a Saturday, and this happened on a Sunday, when they called the shelter in an apparent panic that the dog was vicious, the message on the shelter’s answering machine said, “In an animal-related emergency, call the (local) police department…” So they did!

Fortunately, the police contacted the animal control officer who was on call, and he went to the family’s house to pick up Chief. (Literally. He picked up the 60-pound dog and carried him to the animal control truck. He reported that Chief was petrified.)

Worried that two bad experiences in homes reduced the odds that he would get a third chance at a family, Lynee took Chief home last weekend. She reported that he had to be pulled out of her car, but he followed her into and then around the inside of her home like he was glued to her side. At first, he was too afraid to go outside to go to the bathroom, but she encouraged him, and, partly lifting him by his harness to get him out the door, pulled him outdoors. Once there, he went potty, and then rushed back into the house.

Lynee stayed home with Chief for three days. She said that every day he made progress. After that first time being lifted/pushed outdoors, he went outside to potty with just encouragement. He wouldn’t eat food or treats the first day, ate only canned food the second day, but ate kibble with just a little canned food mixed in on day three. He wouldn’t interact with her other dogs on day one, but by day three was playing chase games outside.

On day four, Lynee and her husband lifted Chief into their car and took him and their oldest dog for a short field trip to our local wildlife area. They let him explore on a long line and he waded into the river and enjoyed sniffing all the interesting smells. He got into the car on his own power for the trip home.

Both of the families who adopted Chief before were told that he had been brought into the shelter as a puppy, and didn’t know anything else. That he was undersocialized and essentially didn’t know anything about the world outside nor any dogs other than dogs he was kenneled with in the shelter. And yet neither family gave him the time and space to acclimate and learn about the world outside a shelter.

Lynee had to go to work today, and she didn’t want to leave Chief home alone all day; nor did she want to bring him back to the shelter. So she asked if I could do a little daycare duty. Of course! This will give Chief even more experience in yet another environment – but a safe, non-demanding space, where no one will have any expectations of him and he can observe everything in the environment without pressure.

I met Chief a month or so ago at the shelter, when Lynee had him in an exercise yard. My impression of him then was of a hyper but nice young dog – just what you would expect of a dog who had grown up in a loud, busy shelter. So far, walking around my property and laying in my office as I write this, he’s calm and quietly observing everything. He’s taking treats from me, and hasn’t been too afraid to enter and exit the outbuilding where I work. And this transformation is after just three days in Lynee’s home.

When you bring a dog home from a rescue or shelter – or anywhere, actually! – give them space and time! Be friendly and encouraging, but don’t loom or fuss over them. Try not to make demands on them at first, but reinforce every behavior you like to see. Set up the environment (with pens or gates) so they can’t get into places or getting into things you don’t want them near, so you don’t have to scare them by rushing them out of those spaces. Keep in mind that they might not know anything about human cars, homes, or other animals, and they may react with fear, and yes, even growling. Remember, a growl means, “I need some space!” It’s meant as a distance-creating message. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or plan to attack you!

There has been a “3-3-3” meme going around the shelter and rescue community for a while that says something like, “The first three days with your newly adopted dog should be used to adjust, the next three weeks for training and bonding, and the next three months for continued training and socialization.” Our contributing editor Pat Miller hates this meme and wrote an article with her preferred version of the good intentions behind the meme: Give your new dog all the space and time they need to decompress and get to know you. Sometimes this happens quickly – even immediately. But take it from Chief: Sometimes you just need a little more time.

Nancy Kerns Nancy Kerns has edited horse and dog magazines since graduating the San Francisco State University Journalism program in 1990. The founding editor of Whole Dog Journal in 1998, Nancy regularly attends cutting-edge dog-training conferences including those for the International Association of Animal Behavior ConsultantsPet Professional GuildAssociation of Professional Dog Trainers, and Clicker Expo. To stay on top of industry developments, she also attends pet industry trade shows such as Global Pet and SuperZoo, educational conferences of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and Pet Food Industry’s Pet Food Forum. As a regular volunteer for her local animal shelter, the Northwest SPCA in Oroville, CA, she fosters large litters of puppies and helps train wayward adolescent dogs in order to increase their chances of adoption. Nancy shares her life with her husband and two canine alumni of the NWSPCA, mixed-breed Otto (whose adorably fuzzy visage was incorporated into WDJ’s masthead some years ago) and Pit/Lab-mix Woody. 

Angel Fund Helps Puppy Stricken by Parvovirus

Victoria Romero, a young graphic design student, had wanted a dog since she was eight or nine years old.  When she turned 16 a couple of years ago, she suggested to her mother that she give her a dog instead of a Sweet Sixteen party.

Her mother said no.  “So I had never had another opportunity [to have her own dog] until now,” she said.  A friend of her Mom, who had a female Maltese-Poddle mix puppy, wanted to find someone who could take the dog off her hands.

Victoria took charge of Kona in mid-November.  The dog was lethargic and she knew that the animal would need shots.  “So I called the [Aliso Animal] hospital and made an appointment for the next day,” she said.

Dr. David Bahou examined the dog and told Victoria that her new pet had parvovirus.  “This is my first dog and I really wanted to be careful with her,” she said.  “I was crying the whole time in the hospital because I thought maybe I had done something wrong.”  At the time, she had been Kona’s owner only a couple of days.

Dr. Bahou assured her that she was not at fault.  “He said that Kona’s symptoms would have started five to seven days after exposure so she had gotten the virus when she was with the previous owner,” Victoria said.   

But there was another issue: paying for Kona’s treatment.

“I was very sad because I did not have the money I needed,” Victoria said, “and the only option was putting her down. I did not want to do that.  I was already so attached to her.  I loved her so much that I couldn’t do that.  I called my family and friends to invite them to give me a little bit each.

“Dr. Bahou and the hospital staff really wanted to help me,” she said.  “When they told me about Angel Fund, I said let’s do that.  I just didn’t want to see Kona get worse because she already was so lethargic.

“I’m really grateful for Angel Fund and what they did. It really helped me out.  I hope other people can find out about Angel Fund.”

Victoria, a student at Laguna College of Art and Design, works as a baby sitter for her mother and in a child day care role at a local school district.  She expects to graduate from her program in the spring of 2025. 

She heads to one of the schools in the district each work-day morning to help young students who participate in a pre-school program, she said.  “I work about an hour and a half,” she said, “getting their minds awake for school.”  Then she returns home to supervise her two younger siblings while her mother works.

Her mother does house cleaning and some gardening work and manages a group of workers. 

Kona who is now about five months old and weighs about three pounds, is doing well.  “She’s now about 100 percent,” Victoria said.  “She has been running around the house trying to steal our shoes.”

Dog Bite Statistics By Breed You Need To Know in 2023!

From the World Animal Foundation – December 9, 2023

By: Monika Martyn

dog bite injuries

Originally published on January 30, 2023, this article has been updated on December 09, 2023 to reflect the latest research and statistics. Our editorial team has ensured you’re viewing the most current data on this topic. Need help or have a question? Email us.

There’s no point in sugar-coating the topic; dog bites are a serious problem. It’s irresponsible to lay blame without having the facts. It’s just as foolish to ignore the problem and pretend that the poor dog had terrible owners. Sometimes, the beloved family pet inflicts bite injuries.

A few breeds have risen consistently to the top for causing severe dog bite injury that requires medical attention. Breed-specific legislation has been proven that it doesn’t provide the right solution and might even create a false sense of security.

Top 6 Most Crucial Statistics

Dog Statistics at a glance:

Dog Bite Statistics by Breed

It’s hard to envision our beloved pet dogs as potentially vicious animals that can inflict serious physical harm and even death. But as responsible pet owners, we must face the fact that it can happen.

Dog bite numbers confirm that some dog breeds bite more frequently, though big dogs bear the burden because their bite causes much more serious dog bite injuries.

People who get bitten by little dogs are less likely to report the incident. However, larger breed dogs and mixed breeds can inflict severe physical damage by sheer force of PSI (pounds by square inch or newtons).

dog bites

Pit bulls(a class of dogs like the American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and any mixed breeds from the lineage of these dogs) are known as the most aggressive, with 64% of bites. It does not distinguish the breeds listed under the pity umbrella in dog bite attacks. PSI of 241.

Rottweilers have an immensely potent bite at 1,180 and 1,460 newtons of force or 328 PSI.

German Shepherds have a dog bite force of over 1060 newtons and a tendency to bite smaller dogs. PSI of 238.

Doberman Pinschers were in demand a few decades ago, and the last death caused by Dobby happened in 2011. PSI of 228 (though some suggest 600PSI)

Bull Mastiff, this 130-pound powerhouse dog, injured a young girl and killed a boy trying to save her. PSI of 556.

Husky dogs are working dogs, and Siberian Huskies killed 15 people in the USA from 1979 to 1998. PSI of 320.

Malamutes don’t like other smaller animals and have five human fatalities on their record. PSI of 328.

Wolf Hybrids caused 14 deaths and constitute any mixed breed with one wolf parent. These dog mixes are illegal in many states. PSI of 406.

Boxers are descendants of hunting dogs and have powerful jaws. The last recorded fatality happened in 2013. PSI of 230. (Just spent a month hand-feeding a boxer and didn’t think they could bite through pre-moistened kibble.)

Great Danes weigh 200 pounds, and in 2003, one of these gentle giants killed a 2-year-old. PSI of 238.

Interestingly enough, the pit bull group PSI is on the lower spectrum and similar to the PSI of a Labrador Retriever at 230 PSI. Further study on why some dogs bite is needed.

Note: Many people call several purebred dog breeds pit bulls. The Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and mixed dogs rank in the top five.

Dog Bite Statistics in the U.S.

Let’s look at some eye-opening insights into dog bite incidents and their impact with these informative dog bite facts:

dog bite

Dog Attack Stats in the US Reveals, Annually Dogs Bite Almost 4.5 Million People (Center for Disease Control)

No self-respecting dog owner believes their dog is capable of biting. Yet, 4.5 million dogs are likely to bite. The vast majority of bites are underreported, but over 800,000 people bitten by dogs require medical attention. Using 2019 population figures, 1 out of 73 are victims of dog bites.

dog biting

The Third Deadliest Creature on Earth is Dog (Statista)

Our beloved canine friends make the top three in the most dangerous animal list in the world. Part of that is the sheer number of dogs in the world. Statistics show there are between 700 million to 1 billion dogs (pet and unowned).

In underdeveloped nations, 30,000 people die yearly from rabies transmitted by dogs. Sadly, rabies is 100% preventable through vaccines.

Among 4.5 Million Bite Victims, Half Are Children (CDC)

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) continually seeks to provide a better understanding of bite statistics.

Hospital Emergency Departments treat 885,000 patients who seek medical care from bites; 370,000 of those need emergency attention, and 16 deaths occur. Children are more vulnerable and receive 70% of all bite-related deaths.

70% of Dog Bites Happen from Unneutered (Male) Dogs (ASPCAPro)

american dogs

Unneutered dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite people and other dogs. That means 70% to 76% of biting dogs are male. Further, restrained dogs (chained or tethered) bite 2.8 times more.

Approximately 78% of “Breed-Specific Dogs Are Kept for Safety, Status, Brawling, and Breeding ( ASPCAPro)

Breed-specific bans exist in America. Many states are working to remove these unfair restrictions on responsible dog owners and don’t protect the public from irresponsible owners with large dogs.

As many as 78% of people with regulated dogs don’t bring them into the family. Instead, these dogs are mistreated as chattel, neglected, abused, and involved in fatal dog attacks. Statistics from NCRC suggest that 70.4% of dog bite deaths were not family dogs.

Top Five US States For Fatal Dog Bite Statistics (Injury Lawyers)

serious injury by family dogs

Statistics are always interesting when you see just a snapshot of the information. These numbers don’t speak about population density vs. dog bites; they list the number of incidents recorded, which leaves out any real context of how or why.

  • California = 48
  • Texas = 47
  • Florida = 31
  • North Carolina = 22
  • Ohio = 21

California’s population density is 251.9 (per mile²), while Texas is at 110 and Florida is 405.45. So, depending on which state is your home state, you might be more or less susceptible to dog bites.

In 2020, Dogs Attacked Nearly 6,000 Postal Employees (Universal Postal Union)

Letter carriers receive training to prevent dog bite attacks but still become bite victims that require emergency care treatment. In 2020, nearly 6,000 postal workers were victimized compared to 5803 in 2019. The numbers were increasing, and Houston and Los Angeles ranked at the top with the most incidents annually.

In a downward trend, there were over 5,400 postal employee dog attacks in the United States in 2021, and this number decreased to over 5,300 in 2022 during mail deliveries.

dog attacks

In 2005, More Than 28,000 People Underwent Reconstructive Surgery After a Dog Bite Incident (NIH)

Insurance companies and hospitals monitor these incidents closely, and in 2017, insurance liability claims totaled 700 million for dog-related accidents and injuries. That is a 33% share of insurance claims.

Of that significant number, 28,000 underwent reconstructive surgery; average dog-related injury claims rose by more than 90%. Dog bite-related hospitalization and treatment averaged around $18,000 between 2003 and 2017.

Police Dogs Were Responsible for 243 Bites in Indianapolis from 2017-2019 (Indy Star)

why do dogs bite

The IndyStar investigated IMPD dog bites and found that many of the bite recipients were unarmed or not in breach of any high crime activity. Out of 243 victims, more than half were black, and 28% of the population.

Before we blame these invaluable police dogs, it’s the handlers that release these working K-9s more frequently on blacks than whites. At the time of the investigation, 25 officers handling K-9s were white, and only one was black. Racism, seriously, needs to end!

Dog Breed Attack Statistics

Among 46 Dog Bite Related Fatalities in 2019, 33 Were Caused by Pit Bulls (Dogsbite.org)

Pit Bulls (which constitute more than one breed) caused 33 out of 46 fatal attacks in 2019. The chart below lists the top 10 dogs responsible for deadly attacks between 2005 and 2017.

dog attack statistics

From 2010-2021, There Were 430 Fatal Dog Bites, Among Which Pitbulls Are Responsible for 185, and Another 41 Were Pitbull Mixes Which Account for 60% (Injury Lawyers)

Breed legislation is a turbulent topic. Each side of the debate brings valuable content to try and help resolve the ongoing issue. What remains a fact is that the Pitty keeps making the list of dogs responsible for 185 of the 430 fatal dog bites (2010 to 2021).

Pitty breeds make up five registered breeds, and for once, it would be nice to see actual figures separating which of these terrier bulldog breeds causes the most damage.

Based on percentages, 60% were either full-blooded or mixed pitty breeds, 7% had a Rottweiler lineage, and 4% were of a German Shepherd pedigree.

Although Pitbulls and Rottweilers Make up Only 6% of Dogs in the US, They’re Responsible for 77% of All Dog Bites (Injury Lawyers)

dog bite statistics

Pitbulls and Rottweilers may seem to be on trial, but the figures don’t lie.

  • 77% of fatal bites come from Pittys and Rotties
  • Pittys will bite 2.5 times more likely in multiple anatomical locations (hands and feet)
  • Pittys will attack strangers at 31% more likely
  • Pittys can attack 48% more likely without cause
  • Pitty victims are more likely to die and have increased injuries and hospital costs than other breeds

Further, dog bites are preventable, according to many sources like the CDC.

Chained Dogs Are Inflicted to Bite 2.8 times More Than Unchained Dogs (NCBI)

Chained dogs bite 2.8 times more than unchained dogs. Since 2003, chained dogs have accounted for the killing of more than 450 Americans. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. PETA outlines the events for many recorded chained dog attacks

dog attack statistics

Pit Bull Attack Statistics

The Tendency of Pitbulls Attacking a Stranger Is 31% Higher Than Any Other Dog Breed (NCBI)

Studies on cases of aggression prove again that bull terriers consistently act aggressively toward strangers and have a recurrence of 31%. However, pitty advocates want to prove the general public wrong and produce heartwarming versions of how lovable these dogs can be.

In 2018, Pit Bulls Were Responsible for 26 Deaths (Dogs Bite)

Many Pitty rescue missions believe in saving pittys. However, Pittys are on the list for being responsible for the most dog attack deaths in 2018, with 26 out of 36 deaths. Pit bulls only represent 7% of the dog population.

Pitty defenders blame the owners and argue that statistics only tell half the story.

From 2005-2017, Pit bulls Killed 284 Americans (Dogs Bite)

Americans need to decide how to handle the pitbull problem. Anyone with compassion for animals might easily fly to the defense of these dogs (the writer), but when pit bulls account for 284 victims killed out of 433, that number speaks loudly. Victims deserve a voice in this debate too.

Dog Bite Statistics

Globally, Tens of Millions of Dog Bites Occur Annually (WHO)

dog bites injuries

Universal numbers to calculate global dog bite numbers are challenging to obtain. In impoverished countries, dog bite injuries don’t receive any liability claims. Most don’t receive medical treatment.

While navigating injuries caused by dogs’ aggressive behavior, addressing preventive measures becomes crucial. Effective training and utilizing technological aids like smart dog collars are instrumental in mitigating aggressive behaviors.

Be sure to explore our Halo collar reviews and Spoton fence reviews to understand how these tools can be pivotal in establishing safe boundaries and potentially minimizing aggressive tendencies in dogs.

There Are Approximately 1-2 Deaths in Canada Due to Dog Bites Yearly (NCBI)

Annually in Canada, 1-2 deaths occur due to dog bites. Data published by the Canadian Veterinary Journal, following dog bite stats from 1990 to 2007, revealed 28 deaths from serious dog bite injuries. The report didn’t list any particular breed responsible.

A set of 2010 numbers concluded a decline of 28.2% over 2005, and the number of pit bull-type dogs fell by 92% since 2002 ( Toronto banned them in 2005)

According to Australian Dog Stats, Almost 13000 People Need Medical Care After Dog Bites Annually (The Royal Children Hospital)

dog bite injury

Stats found that children under five have a significant risk and suffer from injuries to their face and neck. The NSW government banned these fighting breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa

In 2020, canine bite statistics suggested that 75% of most attacks come from other breeds.

Between 2015–2018, Dog Bite-Related Hospital Visits Increased by 5% in the U.K. (Royal College of Surgeons)

Brits love their K-9 companions, and the Royal College found there were 7693 dog bite-related hospital admissions yearly. The total number of admissions between 2015 and 2018 was 23,078.

Education about how to cope with dog bites might have increased these figures.

In 2020, People Between Age of 50-59 Became the Most Common Victims of Dog Bites in England (NHS Digital)

Hospitals reported 1453 admissions of dog bite claims for this demographic. The group, ten years their junior, became the second largest segment with 1181 victims. Children aged nine and younger had 1178 admissions, while 80 and older had 443 hospital admissions.

Rabies-Related Dog Bite Statistics

dog biting human

99% of Rabies Cases Occur Due to Dogs (WHO)

Rabies is a preventable but incurable disease that affects every continent except Antarctica. The rabies vaccine invented by Louis Pasteur has saved millions of lives. However, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), rabies is still a problem in Asia and Africa, where 95% of rabies deaths occur. Most victims are children.

The post-bite vaccine prevents millions of deaths.

In the US, Only 2% of People Die from Rabies Annually (Injury Lawyers)

Due to strict regulations and preventive measures, “the U.S. has been free of dog rabies since 2007.” It’s definitely a little sigh of relief after learning all the shocking details of dog bites.

Dog Bite Fatalities by Gender and Age

  • Of 430 Fatalities Between 2010-2021, 32% Were Infants From 0-4 Years
  • 13% Were Adults Above 75 years
  • 10% Were Children from 5-9 Years Old
  • 5.5% of Adults Were 60-64 Years Old
  • 5% Were Between the Ages of 50-54 Years Old

Dog Bite Claims Statistics

In 2022, the number of dog bite claims in the US decreased slightly, but the total cost of these claims increased significantly by 28%, reaching $1.13 billion. The average cost per claim also rose by 32% to $64,555.

Dog Bite Claims Statistics

In 2022, Home-Owner Insurance Companies Paid $1,136 Million in Dog-Related Injuries Claims, Including Dog Bites (III)

The insurance industry paid out hefty dog bite liability claims in 2022. A total of $1,136 million dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), were paid to settle claims.

Dog bite claims decreased by 2.2% in 2022 to 17,597 from 17,989 in 2021.

In 2022, There Were 1,954 Claims in California Alone (III)

dog bites statistics  2022

California maintains its lead in dog bite claims across the US, recording 1,954 claims in 2022 (down from 2,026 in 2021), followed by Florida with 1,331 claims. Notably, California also tops the list for the highest average claim cost at $78,818, followed closely by Florida at $78,203.

The state of California also had the highest fatality rate in 2019 with 9 deaths.

FAQ’s

Which Dog Breed Bites the Most?

Pit bulls cause more dog bite injuries and hurt more people than any other dog, with labrador retrievers coming in second place.

Which Dog Breed Has Killed the Most Humans?

Pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, and their overall population is only 6.5%.

What Happens to Dogs When They Bite Humans?

It might depend on where you live and the events leading up to the dog bite injuries. Stray dogs are often euthanized and tested for rabies. In other cases, criminal charges and lawsuits might decide the outcome.

Are Pit Bulls More Dangerous?

Although they score high on temperament tests, Pittys often live in less-than-desirable situations. Many are chained and sometimes trained for the fighting ring.

How to Handle an Aggressive Dog?

Aggressive dogs sometimes need professional intervention and behavior modification. Working with any dog takes time and energy.

Conclusion for Dog Bite Statistics

Dog bite injuries are a grave problem. Not all dog bites are predictable, though; with proper training and education, fatal dog attacks are preventable. Dog bite injuries and dog bite victims are serious.

Owning any kind of pet takes a considerable commitment. Dogs are not disposable. They rely on us to teach them acceptable dog behavior. If you don’t have the time, try fostering or volunteering.

Monika Martyn

Monika Martyn is a nomadic minimalist and published author. Her pet portfolio includes experience with over forty cats and dogs, and she becomes their surrogate and a valued pack member. One of her proudest accomplishments is typing while petting a fur baby on her lap. She also excels at dog-speak and cat-talk and is working on mastering fish lingo. Aside from her animal advocacy, she is passionate about the environment, plastic pollution, and living with less (not including chocolate and coffee). She practices yoga and meditation faithfully. She’s experienced living abroad and believes that together people can evoke change for the better. Or at least be kind to one another despite our differences. She has an uncanny knack for remembering people’s names. She’s proud of her two Pushcart Nominations, her debut novel, and her marriage. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Monika believes that education is the biggest gift to humanity at any age.

World Animal Foundation

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Email: info@worldanimalfoundation.org

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Angel Fund Helps Mitzy, Blind Dog Diagnosed With IMHA

Helen Uitermark lives alone in her home in the San Gabriel Valley, except for her pets, including dogs large and small.  About a year ago, she adopted Mitzy, “so, if nothing else, I can hug her on my lap.” 

Mitzy is a West Highland White Terrier mix and is about the size of a Maltese-Poodle mix. She was just the right medicine to lift Helen out of a depression arising from her own medical problems.

Helen, is a senior citizen who often uses a cane or walker because of a broken ankle suffered nearly a year ago.  Mitzy replaced two tuxedo cats that were apparently lost to coyotes. 

Last spring, Helen said, “it was obvious that Mitzy wasn’t feeling well so I took her to Covina Animal Hospital.  The diagnosis was glaucoma in her left eye.”

Dr. Karryssa Fenderson-Joseph, the hospital’s medical director, said that, when Mitzy’s condition did not improve with medical management, the best option she could offer was to remove the eye.  The surgery took place a few days later.

Mitzy soon was able to run around in Helen’s backyard.  “Everything was fine for several weeks,” she said. “Then, because Mitzy didn’t seem to be herself, I checked her, and the other eye seemed to have a white haze across it.  I took her back to the hospital and she was diagnosed, again with glaucoma.”  Dr. Fenderson said she recommended removal of Mitzy’s remaining eye after Helen told her that she didn’t want Mitzy to have on-going problems.

“After removal of the right eye, Dr. Fenderson had me come back several times because of an anemia condition (Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia). I had never heard of it.

“Dr. Fenderson gave Mitzy a full-blood transfusion,” Helen said, “and she improved every week. We’ve been back to the hospital every month for a checkup. According to the doctor, the numbers have been holding so – unless something else happens – we’re good to go!”

Dr. Fenderson said that Mitzy has done so well since her transfusion that she is in remission and no longer is taking medication for IMHA.

Helen had been told about Angel Fund by friends and she asked Dr. Fenderson about it. “She immediately said: ‘Let me see what I can do.’ There was no further discussion about it but a few visits later, she said: ‘By the way, the grant has been approved.’ I almost danced out of her office! You have no idea how much I appreciate the Angel Fund grant.

“Dr. Fenderson has been so terrific, that’s where I will be going. It’s 15 miles from my home but, yes, she will be taking care of all my animals. I love her dearly.”

Mitzy seemed to be depressed after the second eye was removed. “She wasn’t interested in much and wasn’t even exploring. I was offered a kitten, about eight weeks old, and I said yes, since I’d lost the two cats last year.

“The kitten, Rusty, a male who is about six months old, and Mitzy get along fantastically. Mitzy’s depression has improved so much. It was wonderful to see. She gets around the house and backyard just fine. Every day her awareness seems to get better.”

Helen is getting used to dealing with a sightless Mitzy and she often forgets that her dog is blind. “She and I are getting accustomed to it. I can hear Mitzy on the other side of the door when I drive into the garage. It’s as if she’s trying to jump into my arms when I come through that door – then she does.”

But the household got a shock when Helen was pressured into accepting two Shi Tzu dogs that needed a new home. Helen said that she really did not want more pets, especially with a pinched sciatic nerve that added to her mobility problems. “They were absolutely loveable animals but it was too much,” she said.

A month after they arrived – the Shi Tzus were adopted by another family – much to Helen’s relief.

“My household is down to Mitzy and Rusty now. After the Shi Tzus left, Rusty came over to Mitzy when she was lying down and cuddled up to her. And she is walking through the house like it’s her domain again. I hope it is for many years to come!!”