Animal-related injuries in veterinary services personnel, U.S. army, 2001–2018

R. Allen Messenger, Shauna Stahlman, Andy Chern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Limited data exist on animal-related injuries in the U.S. Army veterinary service (VS). The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of animal-related injuries and the associated risk factors in VS personnel. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using military healthcare surveillance data on ani-mal-related injuries in VS personnel from 2001–2018. Yearly incidence of medically diagnosed animal-related injuries ranged from 25–50 injuries per 1,000 person-years from 2001–2018. Linear regression showed no significant trend in the incidence rate per year over the study period (R²=0.005). Bites were the most common injury (86.5%), with dog bites (44.3%) being the most common injury type and dogs the most common species implicated. After controlling for sex, age group, race/ethnicity group, and occupation, adjusted incidence rate ratios (AIRRs) showed significantly elevated risk for animal-related injuries among females compared to males (AIRR=1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.45–1.99), soldiers aged 17–29 compared to those aged 30 years or older (AIRR=2.55; 95% CI: 2.12–3.08), and technicians compared to veterinarians (AIRR=1.57; 95% CI: 1.30–1.89). Unlike the majority of published literature on veterinary occupational health and safety, this study showed a clear increased risk of diagnoses of injury among females compared to males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Surveillance Monthly Report
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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