Why Vets Get Kicked

A Swiss study of kick injuries to veterinarians found that the risk of injury to those treating horses is highest when performing painful procedures on the horse. In the study, Sabina Jaeggin, an assistant in the Vetsuisse Fakulty in Zurich, reviewed questionnaires from 216 Swiss vets. The questionnaire surveyed the seasons during which the kick injuries occurred, the type of procedures underway, the treatment locations (stall or pasture), and chemical restraint of the patients.

Jaeggin described 212 kick injuries, but the prevalence among veterinarians was relatively low: 25% of the veterinarians had never been kicked, 62% were kicked once or less per year, 10% were kicked two or three times a year, and 3% were kicked five to 10 times per year.

Veterinarians who own horses are kicked more often than those who don't. Said Jaeggin, "A possible explanation for this is that their frequent exposure to horses lowers their attention and caution." She concluded that sedating horses for painful procedures, choosing a safe treatment location, and practicing caution are advised. For more information on this study, see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=6593.
--Amber Heintzberger, from a translation of the study by Juergen Grosserhode

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