“Beware of the dog” might need to take on a new meaning when it comes to injuries. It turns out that dogs and cats — but dogs especially — are involved in 1% of the 8 million falls that send people to emergency rooms nationwide.

That may seem to be a small number, it still means that every day about 240 people go to emergency rooms nationwide for injuries from falls involving dogs and cats, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report.

Falls are dangerous.

I never could have guessed that unless a study like this told me. So, which are more tripable, dogs or cats?

Eighty-eight percent of owners tripped over dogs but only 11.7% tripped over their cats. No information about which dog breed were involved in these accidents was available.

But what about ferrets? Goldfish? Monkeys??? No data? I smell a federal grant money opportunity! Ain’t nothin’ like taxpayer money being spent wisely for important research!

In other CDC news, turns out that seemingly groundbreaking report on the relation between beer pong and herpes was a hoax. Whew!




  1. bobbo says:

    “But what about ferrets? Goldfish? Monkeys??? No data? I smell a federal grant money opportunity!” //// The more interesting info would be how many people die/injured by their kiddies – not the killers by shotguns accelerating the inheritance. The more mundane life suckers who take out their creators with a trip, fall, back lifting injury.

  2. The DON says:

    How about…
    How in gods name is tripping over a cat or a dog related to disease!!!

  3. jbella says:

    What’s with all the snarkiness?

    Looks like the CDC does a weekly report about what sends American’s to the emergency rooms. Seems like a good idea and not a waste of money at all. If they see a huge spike in “Bleeding from the eyes” the CDC might want to know about it.

    The only difference is this week some blogger happened to read the report and notice that 1% of the injuries were caused by tripping over pets.

  4. Peter says:

    I suspect the figures may be slightly out. As we all know cats are far better at hiding the evidence and blaming it one the nearest dog 🙂

  5. Jimbo says:

    Better than getting your hand and face chewed off by a chimpanzee. I used to trip over my cats all the time. Then they died and it was easier to know where they were.

  6. Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

    It’s REALLY dangerous if you do that peanut butter trick wrong.

    /just saying

  7. Dallas says:

    Where is the central front on the global war on dogs and cats?

  8. sungkyu says:

    Ditto #3. It seems these findings are not about obvious cause & effects, but about the relative frequencies of such events. If the incidence of pet trippings went up to account for 99% of all visits to the ER, we might want to seriously consider how best to welcome our new carnivorous overlords.

  9. Named says:

    Being from a communist country, I L-O-V-E tripping over my animals. My free health care insures that I can have a nice time at the hospital free of cost. In fact, since it’s free, I usually spend my time tripping over my animals during RUSH HOUR! After I’ve injected draino, of course…

  10. WmDE says:

    A few years ago there was a story abut a blind man who tripped over his off-duty seeing-eye dog and fell down a flight of stairs.

    At the bottom of the stairs he had regained his eyesight.

    He reportedly had mixed emotions about the dog. A good seeing-eye dog doesn’t sleep at the top of the stairs. On the other hand he wasn’t blind any more.

    I searched for this story and did not find it. May have been pre-web. I did find one where a man regained sight in one eye after being head-butted by a horse. As he did not trip over the horse I’ll not mention it here.

  11. chuck says:

    More people die every year in equestrian accidents (horse-bak riding) than die from overdosing on Ecstasy (MDMA).

    So, clearly, horse-back riding must be made illegal.

  12. bobbo says:

    I’ve heard horses snort too!

  13. meetsy says:

    I trip over toys, shoes, and things left on the ground by kids, too. Seems to me that kids are just as likely to cause a fall, if not more, than dogs and cats.

  14. Patrick says:

    I tripped over my cat twice, now he seems to let me know he is there by meowing or bumping me.

  15. zorkor says:

    my friend tripped over his dog and broke his shoulder while walking the damn mutt. It was many months of painful physiotherapy before he was normal again. My brother also tripped over a dog and there went his plates full of dinner. Dogs seem like the worst ones in these scenarios while cats have quick reflexes to stay out of the way….

  16. Don Coyote says:

    Precious memories, how they linger. Last June, snapped my right Achilles tendon in two with a loud pop while working in the forest. Nine weeks later–after the surgery and six weeks in a cast–my sleeping dog pandiculated (yes, there is a word for it) in the hallway while I was heading from the bathroom back to the couch. Nowhere to step but on her paw which led to her scrambling to get up and taking me down. Tore the same tendon 90% the second time around. Surgery #2, cast #2 for a total of ten months off work. As for letting sleeping dogs lie, now tell her to get the hell out of the way.

  17. Greg Allen says:

    I get tired of this “research bashing” and the general anti-science, anti-empiricism attitudes of Americans.

    I’m old enough to remember when this same bunch criticized government crash studies.

    “People die because they hit stuff! DUH!!!! Why waste tax dollars on what we know already?” they sniped.

    Well, because that research has helped us develop MUCH MORE safe cars, saving many lives.

    I, for one, am glad to learn that cats are a _much_ safer pet for senior citizens than dogs. I’ll bet that most people didn’t know that, even though they claim otherwise.


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