Dogs and Orthopaedic Injuries: Is There a Correlation With Breed?

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To identify the incidence of orthopaedic injuries secondary to dog bites, determine the responsible breeds, and assess the severity of injury by dog breed.




Single Level I trauma center.


Ninety-five patients treated for a dog bite that resulted in an orthopaedic injury between January 2010 and July 2016.


Patients were treated according to their specific orthopaedic injury.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Dog breed and type of orthopaedic injury.


Thirty-nine percent of all dog bite–related emergency department visits resulted in an orthopaedic injury requiring specialist treatment. Of the 95 patients, 50% were the result of a pit bull terrier bite and 22% by a law enforcement dog. A total of 32% were attacked by multiple dogs. There was a 51% incidence of severe injury (amputation or fracture) with a significant association with breed.


Thirty-nine percent of all dog bite–related emergency department visits at our facility resulted in an injury requiring orthopaedic treatment. Pit bull terrier bites were responsible for a significantly higher number of orthopaedic injuries and resulted in an amputation and/or bony injury in 66% of patients treated, whereas bites from law enforcement dogs and other breeds were less associated with severe injuries.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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