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Dog owners suffer from injuries by holding their dogs in the wrong way, as this image shows

Thousands of dog owners suffer serious hand injuries because they do not hold the cables properly, surgeons have warned.

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Experts from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand say that they should regularly treat bone fractures, cuts and dislocated fingers in people who are injured while walking their dogs.

A single hospital – Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust – treated 30 serious hand injuries in one year caused by & # 39; dog lead or collar abuse & # 39 ;, reports the association.

They believe that thousands of others in the UK experience similar serious injuries.

Dog owners suffer from injuries by holding their dogs in the wrong way, as this image shows

Dog owners suffer from injuries by holding their dogs in the wrong way, as this image shows

About 12 million people in the UK – one in four adults – have a dog.

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Consultant surgeon Rebecca Dunlop, of the UK Hand Surgery Association, said: “Dogs have a wide range of health benefits for their owners, including reducing stress and helping people stay active.

& # 39; But since I've 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 prevent serious damage to their hand.

& # 39; Hand injuries can be very expensive for patients and the NHS – mainly due to leisure time and medical costs.

& # 39; We want to ensure that dog owners can continue to enjoy the time with their dogs without the risk of damaging their hand and time in the hospital. & # 39;

She said hand injuries are often caused by the sudden movement of a dog after owners had wrapped the leash around their wrist, hand or fingers or hooked their fingers under the dog's collar.

A manual for how to use a dog leash (left) and how not to do this, or risk being injured

A manual for how to use a dog leash (left) and how not to do this, or risk being injured

A manual for how to use a dog leash (left) and how not to do this, or risk being injured

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& # 39; A particularly common injury caused by collars and leads is spiral finger fractures, which often require surgery to repair, & # 39; said Mrs. Dunlop, a hand specialist at the Duchy Hospital in Truro.

HOW DO YOU KEEP A DOG LEGGEL?

NOT

+ wrap the strap around the wrist, hand or fingers

+ hook your fingers under the dog's collar

+ keep big dogs on a long lead – if they build up speed this can cause a wringing force on your hand if they stop abruptly

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+ wrap long cables around your legs or street furniture or trees

DO

+ use retractable cables that provide the flexibility to allow your dog to roam when it's safe to do so, while keeping the leash short when you need control without wrapping it around your hand

+ use a collar or harness with a handle

& # 39; This type of painful accident can leave the patient with stiffness and swelling in their hands – even with expert medical care they can cause prolonged stiffness and limit the use of their hand by people.

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& # 39; Another serious and painful injury that we are seeing is friction burns and tissue loss caused by grazes of the dog's collar. This can leave people with scars or even a shortened finger.

& # 39; Long-term hand damage can also be caused when people dislocate their fingers by hooking them under their dog neck before the dog collapses or moves suddenly.

& # 39; Those who injure themselves often have to take time off, which means they miss out on income in combination with the discomfort and disruption of the injury itself.

& # 39; Patients with more serious injuries tend to stay out of work for up to six weeks and may require a year or more of rehabilitation after the first surgery. Even more minor hand injuries can mean hand therapy for up to six months.

& # 39; These painful and potentially debilitating hand injuries are easily prevented by using dog leads and collars correctly, so we want all dog lovers to be careful. & # 39;

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She said that dog runners should not put their fingers under the collar of a dog and instead use a collar or harness with a handle.

And instead of wrapping a wire around the hand or fingers to shorten it, use retractable cables.

Jillian Tisdale, a retired teacher of the Deaf said:

& # 39; We had just finished the walk when the dog started running and the lead suddenly swung around my fingers, causing terrible pain & # 39;

Another example of how dogs lead should not be taken. This method can injure the finger

Another example of how dogs lead should not be taken. This method can injure the finger

Another example of how dogs lead should not be taken. This method can injure the finger

Experts from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand say that they should regularly treat bone fractures, cuts and dislocated fingers in people who are injured while walking their dogs.

Experts from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand say that they should regularly treat bone fractures, cuts and dislocated fingers in people who are injured while walking their dogs.

Experts from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand say that they should regularly treat bone fractures, cuts and dislocated fingers in people who are injured while walking their dogs.

I'm from a family of surgeons and I'm not a panicker, so my biggest concern was just getting it treated the right way.

Thanks to the fantastic medical care I have received, I have luckily recovered the full use of my hand – so that I can enjoy playing with my eight grandchildren, as well as hobbies such as diving, mountain climbing and even dog walks! & # 39;

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Rebecca Dunlop, Hand Surgeon Consultant and member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) and hand specialist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

& # 39; Jillian was incredibly happy that she fully reused her hand after this serious injury. I have seen that many serious injuries have been caused by dog ​​leads and collars. I want dog lovers to be aware of the simple steps they can take to prevent them from seriously damaging their hand. & # 39;

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