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Occup Med (Lond). 2006 May;56(3):199-203. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Injury in Australian veterinarians.

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  • 1Queensland Cancer Fund-Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, PO Box 201, Spring Hill Brisbane, Queensland 4004, Australia.



There are a number of risk factors for traumatic injury in veterinary practice but there is little information on the prevalence of injuries or the factors associated with injury in this profession.


To identify the prevalence of injuries sustained by veterinarians and the groups most at risk for different types of injury.


Cross-sectional survey of Australian veterinarians. Subjects were asked whether they had ever had a significant work-related injury, a less serious acute work injury in the last 12 months, a work-related chronic musculoskeletal problem or dog or cat bites. The prevalence of injuries by gender, practice type and decade of graduation were reported and multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the risk of each type of injury.


Of 2800 veterinarians, over half (51%) reported a significant work-related injury during their career while 26% of practitioners reported having at least one injury in the previous 12 months. Chronic work-related musculoskeletal problems were reported by 49% of respondents. Dog and cat bites were also very common. After adjusting for graduation year and university, males were more likely than females to have experienced cat or dog bites or have a chronic or significant injury, and large animal veterinarians were most likely to have chronic or significant injuries.


A high injury prevalence was found among Australian veterinarians with large animal practitioners at highest risk. This is the largest study of Australian veterinarians to have been reported and has shown that injuries are common and serious in the profession.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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