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The human-canine environment: a risk factor for non-play bites?

By L. L. M. Messam, P. H. Kass, B. B. Chomel, L. A. Hart

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Few dog bite risk factor studies have been conducted. This veterinary clinic-based retrospective cohort study was aimed at identifying human-canine environmental risk factors for non-play bites in Kingston, Jamaica (660) and San Francisco (SF), USA (452). Data were analysed using modified Poisson regression with confounders selected using directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and the change-in-estimate procedure. Dogs acquired for companionship were more likely (RR=1.66; 95% CI 1.02-2.70) to bite than those acquired for protection. Routinely allowing a dog into the presence of visitors was also positively associated with it biting. A dog sleeping in a family member's bedroom was a risk factor for biting in Kingston (RR=2.54; 95% CI 1.43-4.54) but not in SF, while being able to leave the yard unaccompanied was a risk factor for biting in SF (RR=3.40; 95% CI 1.98-5.85) but not in Kingston. Overall, dogs which were less restricted in their interactions with humans were at elevated risk for biting. An observed association with dog bites in one cultural setting might not exist in another.

Date 2008
Publication Title Veterinary Journal
Volume 177
Issue 2
Pages 205-215
ISBN/ISSN 1090-0233
DOI 10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.08.020
Language English
Author Address School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, 1114 Tupper Hall, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. ACP Countries
  2. Bites and stings
  3. California
  4. Caribbean
  5. Carnivores
  6. Commonwealth of Nations
  7. Developed countries
  8. Diseases
  9. Dogs
  10. Environment
  11. Interactions
  12. Jamaica
  13. Mammals
  14. natural resources
  15. North America
  16. OECD countries
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Pets and companion animals
  19. Primates
  20. Protection
  21. Research
  22. risk factors
  23. Studies
  24. surveys
  25. Threshold Countries
  26. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed