What jobs do you consider dangerous? Firefighting? Construction work? Law enforcement? How about horse health care?

In a recent survey into occupational injuries in the United Kingdom, equine veterinarians came out on top, and not in a good way. The survey results showed that this profession is more dangerous than any other civilian occupation in the U.K.

“The average veterinarian will sustain seven or eight work-related injuries throughout their career that will impede them from practicing,” said Gemma Pearson, BVMS, MRCVS, a senior clinical training scholar in equine practice at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, in Scotland.

To get a better idea of the work risks equine veterinarians face and how to mitigate them, Pearson surveyed 168 U.K.-based practitioners and presented her results at the 11th International Society for Equitation Science Conference, held Aug. 6-9 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Eighty-one percent of them said they had sustained at least one injury from a patient in the past five years, and 67% said they put themselves in potentially dangerous situations either daily or a few times a week.

Upon asking how often they work with difficult horses, 63% of the respondents said daily or weekly, and 95% said daily, weekly, or monthly. But what do practitioners consider to be “difficult”? The most common equine misbehaviors they listed were:

  • Being pushy, which can result in veterinarians getting knocked over (95% of respondents)
  • Won’t stand still (92%)
  • Needle shy (91%)console.log('scenario 2');