Mike was live on BBC Breakfast with Nina and Naga on Friday morning talking about the types of injuries dog owners can suffer when either using a lead or holding the dogs collar. The work being discussed was performed by consultant hand surgeon Rebecca Dunlop, from the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Rebecca could not be on the show due to work commitments. She has recently identified 30 serious hand injuries presenting to her hand trauma clinic over a 12 month period as a consequence of dog lead / collar type injuries. These injuries included fractures, dislocations and soft tissue loss. Such injuries can have long term problems with pain, swelling, deformity and loss of function even when treated to the highest standards.
With over a quarter of the UK's population owning a dog, the advice given should be taken seriously. Rebecca recommends holding the lead in the palm of the hand and avoid wrapping the lead around a finger, and avoid hooking fingers under the collar in case the dog suddenly lunges causing injury.
Retractable leads should only be used in open spaces and also larger dogs kept on a shorter lease to prevent them getting up speed and momentum.
Rebecca is keen to encourage dog ownership as the benefits are wide and far reaching including reducing anxiety, companionship and great fun however dog owners should be mindful when holding the lead or collar to avoid injury.