Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Epidemiological aspects of dog bites considering biter dogs and victim

Sartore Buso, DanielHelena Queiroz, LuziaErisvaldo Silva, José

The aim of this study was to characterize dog bites using data on biter dogs and victims. An exploratory cross-sectional study was performed using 203 records of individuals who had attended public health services in 2009 in the municipality of Araçatuba, São Paulo, Brazil, after they had been bitten by a dog. Over 70% (92/129) of dog bite victims were male; most victims (71%) received the dog as a gift. Dog owners reported companionship as the main reason for acquiring the dog. The victims who were children were predominantly male, while the victims who were elderly were predominantly female. Most children were bitten on the head/neck, while adults were bitten on the hands/feet and lower limbs (p 0.0001). The owner of the dog was known in 83.2% of cases. However, rabies observation of the biter dog following the attack was only reported in 59.4% of cases. Situations involving aggression were related to dogs having escaped from their home (18.7%) or roaming free on the streets (17.0%). The analysis of biting dog characteristics using information obtained from dog bite victims and biting dog owners can help direct the medical treatment for dog bite victims. Moreover, concepts of responsible dog ownership can reduce the occurrence of bites.

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