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More dog-bite victims in hospital

The number of people admitted to hospital for dog injuries is on the rise, NHS figures have shown.

In 2010/11, there were 6,120 hospital admissions resulting from dog injuries in England, according to data from the NHS Information Centre.

This is up 5% on the previous year and represents the most serious injuries requiring a hospital stay, not just those cases seen in A&E.

Around one in six (17%) of those ending up in hospital was a child under 10 (1,010 admissions in total).

Dog-related injuries accounted for about half of all the 12,410 admissions caused by animals in 2010/11, while this April saw the most cases relating to dogs of any month in the last two years, with the North West was the worst affected.

Overall, hospital admissions for animal injuries were up 1.8% on the previous year.

There was a 19% rise in admissions caused by bites or stings from non-venomous insects or arthropods, including bed bugs, mosquitoes and fleas. Overall cases went from 3,040 in the previous year to 3,620, with London the worst-affected region .

Some 2,560 admissions were for people bitten or struck by other animals, including cows, horses and pigs. This was an 8% rise on the previous year, with the South West the worst-affected region.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: "Our statistics show that the summer is a seasonal hotspot for admissions to hospital for injuries caused by dogs, coupled with a 5% rise overall for such admissions between the latest and previous 12-month period. However, the same timeframe also saw an increase in admissions for injuries inflicted by other creatures - from bugs and horses to cows and pigs.

"It is also perhaps surprising to some that a bite or sting from a non-venomous insect can be so severe it can result in admission to hospital - but clearly this was the case for some 3,620 admissions in the 12 months to April 2011."

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