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Are dogs more likely to bite when the moon is full? Two studies inthe British Medical journal give different results. One study analyzed emergency room visits in Yorkshire, England to show that dog bites are far more common when the moon is full, while another study analyzed emergency room visits in Sydney, Australia to show the opposite.

Neither author offered to explain how a full moon increases a dog's likelihood to bite a human, but many folk tales report vampires requiring blood when the moon is full. It is not likely that dogs are influenced by vampire stories, but crazy behavior during a full moon goes back at least to Roman times. The term lunatic comes from the latin word for moon. The author of the Australian study refuting full moon influence titled his article, "Barking mad? Another lunatic hypothesis bites the dust."

Another study in the medical journal Family Practice shows that physicans get more calls after hours at night when the moon is full. Nobody knows why.

1)Barking mad? Another lunatic hypothesis bites the dust. S Chapman, S Morrell. British Medical Journal, 2000, Vol 321, Iss 7276, pp 1561-1563.Address; Chapman S, Univ Sydney, Dept Publ Hlth & Community Med, Sydney, NSW 2006, AUSTRALIA. 2) Do animals bite more during a full moon? Retrospective observational analysis. C Bhattacharjee, P Bradley, M Smith, AJ Scally, BJ Wilson. British Medical Journal, 2000, Vol 321, Iss 7276, pp 1559-1561.Address Bhattacharjee C, Bradford Royal Infirm, Dept Accid & Emergency, Bradford BD9 6RJ, W Yorkshire, ENGLAND

2)The effect of the full moon on general practice consultation rates. RD Neal, M Colledge. Family Practice, 2000, Vol 17, Iss 6, pp 472-474Address Neal RD, Univ Leeds, Nuffield Inst Hlth, Ctr Res Primary Care, 71-75 Clarendon Rd, Leeds, W Yorkshire, ENGLAND

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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