Use Caution When Walking Dogs

Loss Amount: $84,000

What Happened: A veterinary worker was walking a large dog from the rear of the practice to the front when it lunged forward. The dog was on a leash but its abrupt movement caused the employee to be yanked off her feet. She sustained serious injuries to her arm, shoulder, neck and back as a result of the sharp pull and then the fall.

Lesson Learned: Employee injuries while handling animals on leashes are relatively common in the veterinary industry and, as we can see in this case, potentially very serious. Precautions that can be taken to prevent such incidents include:

  • Keep the leash short and take up any slack. Anticipate an animal’s desire to pull on the leash and use firm pressure to counter it.
  • Use a leash that is suited to the size of the animal. Larger animals should be restrained by leashes that are more substantial. Such leashes are easier to hold onto and less likely to cause discomfort to the animal or the employee when tension is applied.
  • Consider the use of shock-absorbing leashes, especially for dealing with large dogs.
  • Do not try to handle more than one dog at a time.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles.
  • When outside, walk dogs in a quiet, fenced-in area away from other animals they may be strongly attracted to.

For further assistance in preventing all types of losses, call VISC at 888.762.3143.