Walking your dog on a leash is a safe and fun way to spend time together and enjoy the many benefits of physical activity. However, although retractable leashes are convenient, they can also pose a safety risk to owners if their dog becomes excited or frightened. Every year, tens of thousands of individuals are treated in emergency care centers across the nation for injuries associated with leashes, including eye injuries, cuts, burns, amputations, and dislocated joints.
Cuts and Amputations
Some of the most common injuries associated with retractable leashes are cuts and amputations. Cuts can occur when the leash is extended or retracted quickly without control, causing the edges to slice into the skin. In extreme cases, the leash can become wrapped around fingers or other extremities, leading to deep cuts and even amputations that require immediate emergency care.
Scrapes and Burns
Uncontrolled extension and retraction of a retractable leash can also cause scrapes and burns on the skin. These types of injuries typically occur when the harsh material of the leash is drawn past the skin rapidly during walks or when retracting the leash before putting it away.
Joint and Tissue Injuries
Walking your dog on any type of leash has the potential to cause orthopedic injuries. If your dog becomes excited or frightened, he may tug harshly on the leash, putting excessive pressure on your joints. The most common orthopedic injuries associated with leash use are dislocated joints; it is also common for dog owners to sustain strains and sprains that affect the muscles and soft tissues around the joints as well.
If you sustain a serious injury while walking your pet, it’s important to seek medical help promptly. At West Hills Hospital, our ER and burn center serving West hills have the patient capacity and up-to-date technology to deliver high-quality emergency care, burn care , and heart attack care. You can find out more about our hospital and our healthcare services on our website or by calling (818) 676-4321.