Incidence and characteristics of hospitalizations after dog's bite injuries in Sicily (Italy) between 2012‑2015

Vet Ital. 2017 Dec 29;53(4):315-320. doi: 10.12834/VetIt.1063.5709.2.


There have been several studies focusing on dogs bite injuries and their epidemiology. To our knowledge, the incidence and characteristics of hospitalization after a dogs bite injury have not been examined quantitatively in Italy. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence and characteristics of dogs bite hospitalizations throughout Sicily (Italy) between 2012-2015. Data for statistical analysis were acquired through the Epidemiological Observatory and Health Department of Sicilian Region (Italy). One hundred and forty records with E-code 906.0 (dogs bites) were extracted from 214 cases of hospitalization due to lesions caused by animals. The age group most frequently injured by dogs was children between 0 and 9 years old. The distribution of bite incidences among males and females was similar in children between 0 and 15 years and in elderly adults between 60-84 years old; whereas it was statistically different in adults between 16-59 years, 66% males and 34% being female (Z=2.60, P<0.01). The head, face, and neck region constituted the most common location of lesions in children (76%), the hands were the most common location of lesions for adults (38%), while the arms were the most common location for the elderly (43%). Two photoperiods were considered, short: October-March, and long: April-September. During the long photoperiod, 69% of injuries occurred in children (P<0.05). The identi cation of the incidence and characteristics of hospitalization could be useful for proposing specific preventive approaches to dogs bites injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dogs*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sicily / epidemiology
  • Young Adult