Dog bites are causing increasing numbers of people to be hospitalised every year, a new study shows.

Data released at the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons annual scientific meeting today showed there were more than 99,000 dog bites in New Zealand in the last 10 years.

More than 5800 of the bites required hospitalisation and surgery - an average of two admissions every day.

The report, titled The Burden of Dogbite Injuries in New Zealand: 2004-2014 was co-authored by Middlemore Hospital plastic and reconstructive surgeon Zachary Moaveni.


Dr Moaveni worked on high-profile dog bite victim Sakurako Uehara, 7, when she was treated at Middlemore Hospital in 2014 after suffering more than 100 bites to her face and limbs.

He said at the time it was one of the worst cases staff had seen.

"I don't think any of us were prepared for what we were going to see."

The study showed a significantly higher rate of dog bites for the New Zealand population than previously reported, with numbers up there with the highest reported in Australia, United Kingdom and United States studies.

The highest risk groups were children under 9, Maori and those living in low socio-economic areas.

A whopping 69.8 per cent occurred at private residences.