Epidemiological pattern and management of dog bite injuries in Karachi, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study

Uzma Rahim Khan, Salman Muhammad Soomar, Sanam Mir Ghazi, Rubaba Naeem, Salima Kerai, Seemin Jamali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Dog bite injuries are a common problem globally; however, little is known about the epidemiology of dog bite injury from a low-and-middle-income country like Pakistan. This study aims to determine the epidemiology of dog bite injuries among children and adults from a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study on dog bite patients visiting the emergency department from November 2015 to August 2016 of a major public tertiary care hospital. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire on demographic details, bite history, and management of dog bite victims. Descriptive analysis was reported. Chi-square test was applied to check the associations between age-specific dog bite cases and independent variables. Results: 2178 participants were included in the analysis. 715 (38.8%) were children less than 18 years old, and 1463 (61.2%) were adults over 18 years. A majority of the patients were males (1909, 87.7%). Results show that most dog bite injuries (2052, 94.2%) tend to occur outside the house by stray dogs biting without provocation. People aged 18 years and above (61.2%) and males (children: 84.6%, adults: 89.1%) tend to be bitten more often. Lower limbs are most frequently bitten (children: 69.5%, adults: 85.8%). Free-roaming stray dogs (children: 73.4%, adults: 74.9%) were involved in reported biting cases. Many of the patients did not receive appropriate first aid and instead just washed the wound with soap and water (children: 45.1%, adults: 43.7%). 99% of the victims received Tetanus toxoid, Rabies vaccine, and immunoglobulins while in the emergency department. Conclusion: There is a high burden of dog bite injuries from stray dogs in Karachi, Pakistan. Efforts should be made to create awareness among the general public on the risks of dog bites and on seeking appropriate first aid and medical attention for a dog bite injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110473
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Adults
  • Children
  • Dog bite
  • Epidemiology
  • Injury


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