dog bite

Dog Bite Dangers After a Disasters

This is an article on dog bite dangers sent in by one of our readers that i think is something that needs to be taken into consideration. The article is from the Wall Street Journal.

Dog-bite danger: After a natural disaster, dogs may be more likely to attack people unprovoked, according to a study in Preventive Medicine.

The Japanese study found that the number of dog bites was almost 30 times as great in one small city in the weeks following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster as in the previous year. Animal behavior often changes before a major seismic event but only a few studies have looked at the post-disaster period, the researchers said. Dog bites were reported to increase after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.

The study used medical records to track 27 patients ages 23 to 86 treated for dog bites at Japan’s Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital in the 3½ months after the 2011 earthquake and subsequent nuclear power plant disaster. Most area residents were evacuated following the explosion but pets were usually left behind, researchers said.

Dog bites peaked about three weeks after the quake and remained high until the 15th week, the data showed. By comparison, only two people were treated for dog bites in the 10 weeks before the earthquake. About 70% of bites were to the upper body. Of the victims, 44% were bitten by dogs that had owners, 33% by neglected dogs and 23% by strays or unknown dogs.

Many bites occurred after the sixth week of evacuation, indicating that returning residents could have become victims of bites by starved and highly stressed dogs.

A number of dogs attacked people without displaying any signs of aggression, the study found. This behavior may be due to hormonal changes or mental stress caused by intermittent aftershocks, researchers said. About a third of the dogs had been vaccinated for rabies and the status of the remainder was unknown.

Caveat: The study only included dog bites treated at one hospital. It isn’t known if dog bites were related to radiation exposure.

After reading the above article you may want to read the following The Problems of Feral Dogs in a Major Disaster More on Feral Dogs and Other Wildlife that May be a Problem



4 thoughts on “Dog Bite Dangers After a Disasters”

  1. Readers may want to read Dr. Cynthia Koeker article on using animal rabies vaccine in a SHTF scenario at
    I tried to break up a fight between two of my own dogs and was bitten quite severely on the hand. The emergency room doctor prescribed SMT 800/160. You may want to consider stocking up on some antibiotics for dog bites, they get very infected quickly due to the dogs salvia.

  2. Andre –
    That’s a very good and workable plan for a one-on-one encounter with a dog. And, you make a very good point about “… the dog’s nose and mouth are very sensitive to electric current.”
    However, I’ve personally seen multiple instances where “electronic fences & collars” have failed to keep dogs within their yards. In nearly all cases, the dogs got “overly excited” – for whatever reason – and ignored the momentary electric shock as they escaped their “fenced” areas.
    And, the dog’s nose and mouth area is somewhat small to apply an electric current in a “stressful situation” where both you and the dog are possibly moving around quite a bit – probably difficult at best.
    This isn’t meant as a criticism by any means, it just points out that any animal that’s “overly excited” may not respond to electric deterrent – much like Tasers are ineffective on humans in some cases.

    (Personally, I don’t want any stray dog – or, worse, a pack of strays – anywhere near me after a disaster.)

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