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Paper: 86K people hurt tripping over their pets

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
From the 03-27 Chicago Tribune/LA Times:

By Carla Hall
March 27, 2009
People are always falling for their pets. Apparently, some are falling over them, too.

About 86,000 injuries each year occur when good people go klutzy around their animals and end up in emergency rooms. Most stumble over their cats and dogs. Others get pushed or pulled by a dog on a walk -- or are doing the chasing themselves. Some pet owners are tripped up by food bowls and pet toys.

That said, such mishaps are relatively rare, accounting for only 1% of injuries from falls, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday.

Most of the injured were treated and released, according to researchers who looked at emergency room reports for 66 U.S. hospitals from 2001 through 2006.

L.A. Unleashed: The Times animal blog "I wouldn't say it's common," said Dr. Frederick Carr, medical director of the emergency department at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance. "I see many more people who trip over curbs and speed bumps. I see one or two of those a day."

Carr recalled, however, that when his elderly mother house-sat for him once, "she tripped over the dog and sustained many cuts. She needed some stitches."

The CDC study said the rate of injury was higher for the elderly.

But pet owners proudly said their animals did not contribute to those statistics. Laura Trope, owner of Lakal Jewelry in Brentwood, brings her Dachshund, Jill, to the store every day.

"No one has fallen over her yet -- and she's definitely close to the ground and hard to see," Trope said.

Most cat owners are aware of their felines' risky predilection for weaving around their owners' legs.

"I love it when they cut me off at the pass," said Kathy Riordan, an L.A. Animal Services Commissioner and the owner of multiple cats. "In all the times they've cut me off, I've never fallen. But I have fallen wearing high heels."

Not mentioned in the report were possible injuries sustained by pooches and kitties bearing the brunt of their stumbling owners.

"Back in 1991, I stepped on my cat's paw," Riordan said. "I felt terrible. We had it X-rayed, and he was fine. But for the remaining 16 years of his life, he would lift a paw and I would run over and apologize."
post #2 of 10
You can add me to the list! Last fall I fell down the stairs and busted my tailbone because the boys were racing me down the stairs to get their breakfast
post #3 of 10
Hmm, how about bad backs or strained necks since God forbid we change positions if a sleeping kitty is curled up with us. I've actually apologized to mine when I've just had to turn over due to leg cramps!
post #4 of 10
You can add me, too. As the staff to a handicapped cat who has somewhat less than optimal motor skills, I'm forever tripping over Forest. Sometimes he zigs instead of zags and ends up tangled in your feet. Last year I tripped over him and took a fall down the stairs and gave myself a concussion. The trip to the doctor actually kicked off a process that ended up with my being diagnosed with a rare, possibly life-threatening disease that is never detected until something major like a stroke happens. So that fall, and Forest, may have actually saved my life in the long run.
post #5 of 10
I never trip over the cats, they have enough sense to move The dogs however are a different story, they are so worried I might have food and they are going to miss out that they stand right under my feet Sadly my mom's dog jumped up on her as she got out of bed one morning and she fell, she lay there for hours before we found her. She was so bad off we had to get a hospital bed and she died two weeks later, we think she may have hit her head and gone unconcious.
post #6 of 10
I sometimes call Zane "Little Mr. Underfoot."

I believe I told the story about the time when I stepped over him and he chose that moment as my foot was coming down to get up--and bonked his head against the sole of my foot! Fortunately, I was wearing soft slippers at the time, but still, it must have been a bit of a shock.
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
Last fall I fell down the stairs and busted my tailbone
I am always yelling at my wife to quit racing down the stairs much like my mother used to do to me! There are usually tufts of Persi's fur on the smooth wooden stairs, an accident just waiting to happen.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
Hmm, how about bad backs or strained necks since God forbid we change positions if a sleeping kitty is curled up with us.
My left shoulder has been hurting me for months because of this! Scarlett must sleep nestled into my left arm pit every night.

DH was walking Spike when he was a puppy and ran across the yard with him to return to the house. Spike took a zig then a zag and tripped DH, who fell on top of him. I'm inside the house and hear a puppy screaming outside. I run outside to find DH crawling across the yard (he sprained his ankle), and Spike under the patio table with blood everywhere. DH yells at me to tend to Spike and manages to crawl over to us. The emergency trip that night was to the vet. Spike had a broken nose with nerve damage to his sinus cavities. DH just wrapped his ankle. Both mended over time.

Spike since that time only runs at our sides and never in front of us.
post #9 of 10
Aww, your guy sounds like such a keeper - making sure the puppy was checked on first. Glad they both got better - sprained ankles really are no fun either!
post #10 of 10
Yep, count me as #86,001!

I'm most worried about the pets when this happens, so if I'm in a tumble where I might injure them after tripping, I will try to throw myself onto whatever will hurt me instead. Oh boy, they really have no clue as to what ends I'll go to for them.
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