Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—The article by Mr Weiss
and colleagues1 about the incidence of dog
bites certainly highlights the extent of this problem. However, the authors
neglected to mention that dogs often bite out of self-defense, and every year,
thousands of dogs are mistreated by their owners. Humans have the ability
to seek medical treatment for their wounds, but many dogs are left to fend
for themselves. Moreover, dogs are at a much greater risk of death than humans
are of dog bite injuries. Comparison of the number of dog bites (334000) the
authors expect to be treated annually in emergency departments with the number
of dogs euthanized because they are unwanted (8 million)2
suggests that dogs may be the losers.
White DJ. Injuries From Dog Bites. JAMA. 1998;279(15):1174. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-15-jbk0415
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