Major health warning as elderly woman dies after being ‘attacked by pet rooster’

The rooster reportedly punctured a varicose vein with its beak, causing the woman to bleed out. Source: Pixabay

They may seem like one of the least harmful animals you could possibly own, but a tragic incident has now reportedly seen a woman die following a random attack by her pet rooster – sparking urgent warnings over household pets.

The elderly woman, from South Australia, died after being attacked by the pet while collecting eggs from a backyard chicken coop, The Advertiser reports. The rooster reportedly punctured a varicose vein with its beak, causing the woman to bleed out.

The woman’s age and other details have been withheld to avoid further trauma for the family. Now, the shocking incident has prompted a public warning about how “harmless animals” can still be dangerous. Adelaide University forensics expert Professor Roger Byard told the news outlet another elderly woman from SA died overseas in the same way when a cat scratched her leg.

“Most importantly I’m trying to get elderly people have varicose veins treated with a simple operation because they are especially vulnerable to being broken,” he said. “It is not just to animal attack, because we have done studies that show people have just been around their homes and bled to death by knocking their leg and the vein on something.”

Meanwhile, Byard said cats are a very common tripping hazard for the elderly around the house, adding: “Cats like to rub against ankles and legs, as well as sit behind people and commonly lead to tripping injuries in the elderly.”

Varicose veins are, at best, unpleasant to look at and at worst painful and hazardous to your health. They are characterised by a large, dark blue appearance just under the skin of our legs and are, unfortunately, one of the more upsetting parts of ageing.

They are twisted, widened and darkish-blue veins and are caused when weak or damaged valves allow blood to back up and pool, causing them to swell. While they can occur anywhere in the body, they’re usually more prone to the legs and feet.

Typically, there are a number of reasons why someone could develop varicose veins. They can be hereditary, but are also common in people who are overweight. They’re also known to develop in people who are on their feet a lot, or people who sit down too much. If you are living with varicose veins and they’re becoming increasingly painful, it’s best to speak to a health professional to see what treatment options are available.

Meanwhile, it comes after researchers from the China Medical University in Taiwan found that varicose veins put people at greater risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis. This type of blood clot commonly forms in veins, with the new research becoming one of the first in the world to link varicose veins with a health issue.

The condition is quite common, so much so that as many as 23 per cent of America’s adult population are said to be living with varicose veins. While commonly affecting people due to their unsightly appearance, China Medical University’s study has linked the condition to deep-vein thrombosis. While more research needs to be done to figure out the exact link between the two, there are concerns that these kinds of veins may also contribute to an array of other vascular diseases including pulmonary embolism and peripheral artery disease.

The observational study analysed 212,984 people with varicose veins and 212,984 without and found that those with varicose veins were more likely to develop deep-vein thrombosis than those without. Because of the nature of the study, researchers did not intervene and were unable to control other elements and factors that may have impacted the outcomes.

All people as part of the study were enrolled in Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program from 2001 to 2013, with follow ups occurring in 2014. While the findings have been promising, more research is needed to determine whether the link between varicose veins and deep-vein thrombosis is causal or associated with other specific risk factors.

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