An interdisciplinary epidemiological survey was undertaken on dog bites in France from May 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Medical information was collected from eight emergency services, and a telephone questionnaire was conducted by veterinary behaviorists. A second questionnaire was conducted 1 month after the dog bite to determine how the bite wound had healed.
In children, dog bites were more frequent on the head and neck, but the lesions were more severe in adults. Bites were more numerous and more severe when the victim knew the dog that bit them. No association was found between the severity of the bite and the type of dog that bit, including breed, sex and weight.
In adults, bites occurred primarily as a result of the victim trying to separate two fighting dogs, whereas children were bitten when they interacted with a familiar dog. Among those who responded to the follow-up questionnaire 1 month after the bite, 39% reported sequelae. Aesthetic sequelae were the majority (80%) of sequelae reported. Women and adults reported more sequelae than did men and children. Measures should be adopted based on the results of this survey.