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J Small Anim Pract. 2001 Jul;42(7):333-7.

'Battered pets': sexual abuse.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin Midlothian.


A study of non-accidental injury in small animals in the UK, based on responses from a random sample of small animal practitioners, identified 6 per cent of the 448 reported cases as being sexual in nature. Twenty-one cases occurred in dogs, five in cats and two in unspecified species. Reasons for suspecting sexual abuse were: the type of injury; behaviour of the owner; statements from witnesses; and admission by the perpetrator. Types of injury included vaginal and anorectal penetrative (penile and non-penile) injury, perianal damage, and trauma to the genitals. Some injuries (such as castration) were extreme, and some were fatal. In contrast, other cases revealed no obvious damage. The type and severity of injuries were similar to those described in texts on child abuse and human forensic pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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