Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2018; 31(05): 332-338
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1661390
Original Research
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

A Retrospective Survey of Injuries Occurring in Dogs and Handlers Participating in Canicross

Pilar Lafuente
1   Department of Clinical Sciences and Services, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, United Kingdom
Caitlin Whyle
2   Animal Hospital of Pittsford Rochester, New York, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

23 August 2017

27 April 2018

Publication Date:
23 August 2018 (online)


Objectives Canicross is a popular canine and human cross-country sport. The purpose of this study was to identify the most common injuries, their severity, risk factors and the recovery.

Methods An internet-based retrospective survey design was used to examine the characteristics of injuries, demographic and competition information and associations with injury rate.

Results A total of 160 surveys were received and indicated that at the time of the survey 21.9% of dogs (35/160) had experienced at least one injury. Lacerations, abrasions and punctures were the most common injury type (22/49), most frequently occurring in the footpads of the forelimb (13/16). The majority of dogs (38/49) recovered from their injuries. Sixty-nine out of 147 of the human handlers experienced injuries while competing; ankle injuries (25/69) and bruises, cuts and grazes (20/69) were the most common injuries. Risk factors for injuries were being a purebred Labrador, dogs running with another dog and additionally competing in agility.

Conclusions Labradors, dogs running with another dog and dogs also participating in agility competitions were at higher risk for injury. Injuries of the footpads of the forelimb were the most common injuries in dogs. Most dogs had a complete recovery from their injuries.

Clinical Significance This is the first study that gives us insight into injuries occurring in dogs and handlers competing in canicross. This will help making recommendations for this sport as well as enable veterinarians to understand the risks and injuries.

Author Contributions

Both the authors contributed to conception of study, study design, acquisition of data and data analysis and interpretation. Both authors drafted, revised and approved the submitted manuscript.