To describe the frequency and types of injuries experienced by dogs competing and training in agility and identify breed and geographic differences in frequency and types of injuries.
Surveys completed by owners of 4,701 dogs.
The study involved an internet-based survey. Participants were asked whether their dog had ever had an injury that kept it from participating in agility for > 1 week and, if so, to identify the location and type of injury.
Owners of 1,958 (41.7%) dogs reported that their dogs had experienced an injury. The most common injury locations were the shoulder region (n = 589 [30.1% of all dogs with an injury]) and iliopsoas muscle (380 [19.4%]). The percentage of Border Collies sustaining an injury (549/1,052 [51.9%]) was significantly higher than percentages of other breeds. Percentage of dogs that sustained an injury varied by country, with the highest percentage reported in Australia (93/174 [53.4%]) and lowest percentage reported in the US (1,149/2,889 [39.8%]).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that, among dogs competing and training in agility, injuries to the shoulder region were substantially more common than injuries in other anatomic locations, with iliopsoas muscle injuries second most common. The frequency and types of injuries varied among breeds and geographic regions. Findings may help guide clinical evaluations when agility dogs are seen in clinical practice for performance issues or lameness. Further studies regarding regional differences in injury rates are required.