Surgeons are warning all dog owners not to wrap dog leads around their wrists or fingers.
Holding a lead in this fashion could lead to serious injuries that may require surgery.
8.9 million pet dogs in the UK
According to medical experts, thousands of owners could be running the risk of lacerations, friction burns, fractures and ligament injuries from the way they hold their lead.
According to the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH), last year in Cornwall saw 30 serious hand injuries caused by the way owners held their dog leads.
Veterinary charity PSDA found in their animal wellbeing report that there is an estimated 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK.
Long term damage
Speaking to the Daily Mail, consultant surgeon Rebecca Dunlop, from the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said, “Dogs have a wide range of health benefits for their owners, including reducing stress and helping people stay active.
“But having seen many serious injuries caused by dog leads and collars, I want dog lovers to be aware of the simple steps they can take to avoid severe damage to their hand.”
Dunlop said that she has noticed an increase in these kinds of injuries in recent years and fingers often do not return to normal.
A regular injury that Dunlop comes across is something called spiral fractures of the finger bones, which usually requires surgery.
Long term damage can present itself as very costly as well as Dunlop mentions “time off work and medical costs.”
How to hold your lead without injury
There are simple steps that dog owners can take to ensure they don’t suffer a leash related injury when out and about with their furry friend.
Things for owners to avoid include:
- Wrapping the lead around your wrist, hand or fingers
- Hooking your fingers underneath your dog’s collar as you can dislocate your fingers if your dog lurches forward
- Having large dogs on a long lead - if they have enough scope to build up force, they can cause injury to your hand by wrenching the lead when they come to a stop