Dog-walking may be hazardous to seniors’ health, study suggests

Older adults usually will get themselves a canine for companionship. But the pets are increasingly sending their homeowners to the emergency room, in accordance to a study.

In present years, the number of seniors seeking medical treatment for accidents related to dog-walking has spiked, from about 1,700 in 2014 to about 4,400 in 2017, in accordance to researchers on the University of Pennsylvania.

The numbers appear in a report printed Wednesday by JAMA Surgery. The researchers say seniors’ increasingly energetic life may be crucial problem, because of canine possession amongst older adults has remained safe over the earlier decade.


Hip fractures are among the many many commonest accidents, the study says, and virtually 80 p.c of the victims have been women, whose usually lower bone density than that in males may be a component.

Susan Bush, 69, says she has been injured a variety of situations whereas strolling her canines – along with struggling a broken leg whereas trying to forestall her canine from chasing a bear that bought right here out of the woods shut to her Pennsylvania cottage.

But no matter surgical process and rehab, she refuses to stop her pets.

“Old people need our dogs,” she knowledgeable the Associated Press. “We need our soulmates.”

“Old people need our dogs. We need our soulmates.”

— Susan Bush, 69, Pennsylvania canine proprietor

Some seniors may be underestimating the bodily risks involved in strolling a canine every day, talked about Dr. Jaimo Ahn, an orthopedic surgeon and a lead creator of the study.

In most situations, Ahn blames what he referred to as a “small person/big dog” state of affairs, throughout which a pet is simply mismatched with its proprietor’s means to take care of it, in accordance to

He moreover says that some seniors may not be as prepared to take care of a pet as they want to be.

“Some of them are really well-trained, but others are really poorly trained,” he knowledgeable the knowledge outlet.

The good news: Injuries ensuing from dog-walking account for fewer than 1 p.c of fractures amongst older adults, the evaluation reveals.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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