Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2017 Apr;56(4):316-325. doi: 10.1177/0009922816657153. Epub 2016 Jul 20.


Dog bite injuries remain a common form of pediatric trauma. This single-institution study of 1616 consecutive dog bite injuries over 4 years revealed a much higher prevalence of dog bites as compared with other similar centers. Though inpatient admission was rare (9.8%), 58% of all patients required laceration repair, primarily in the emergency department. Infants were more than 4 times as likely to be bitten by the family dog and more than 6 times as likely to be bitten in the head/neck region. Children ≤5 years old were 62% more likely to require repair; and 5.5% of all patients required an operation. Pit bull bites were implicated in half of all surgeries performed and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds. The relatively high regional prevalence and younger age of injured patients as compared with other centers is a topic of further study but should draw attention to interventions that can minimize child risk.

Keywords: dog bite injury; pediatric trauma; repair of dog bites.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Bites and Stings / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult