Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:57 UK

Hundreds treated after dog bites on Merseyside

More than 1,500 people were treated in hospitals on Merseyside in 2009 after being attacked by dogs, figures obtained by the BBC have revealed.

The total number is equivalent to almost 30 people a week.

Cases at some hospitals have doubled at some of the region's hospital in the last 10 years, including Whiston and Warrington.

Dr Dave Geggie, a consultant at Warrington Hospital said: "We are seeing more and more of these cases."

He added: "It does impact on our time. Sometimes these bites can require some time-consuming treatment as well.

Status dogs

"They can obviously be very serious. Fatalities have been known from dog bites. It is a problem which ranges from fairly minor and just requires some antibiotics to more major."

At Whiston Hospital, cases have risen from 60 to 175 from 2000 to 2009, a Freedom of Information request revealed.

The increase prompted staff to look into the cases. They found that much of the rise was among children aged under 10 and adults aged 40 to 45.

They also found that status dogs, such as pitbull-types or rottweilers, were to blame for the vast majority of the attacks.

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