When Fido Fights You: Dog Bites and How to Deal With Them

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog every year. Unfortunately, 885,000 of these bites will be serious enough to require medical attention. Because of this, it is imperative for everyone to pay close attention to the warning signs of a potential dog attack. For example, if a dog begins growling at you, it is never a good idea to confront them. However, no matter how many precautions you take, it is still possible that you could end up facing one of the most common dog bite injuries.



The Five Most Common Dog Bite Injuries


1) Puncture Wounds – If a dog punctures your skin, you will need to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of whether or not the bite caused you to bleed profusely. After all, any puncture wound could cause an infection, so you should never take the chance of letting the bite turn into a more serious issue. Puncture wounds need to be treated with antibiotics, and you will also need to have the wound cleaned thoroughly before it is covered up.



2) Scarring – Most dog bite wounds will heal completely, but it is definitely possible to end up with scarring as a result of the incident. Unfortunately, children are especially prone to developing scars, and this can have a negative impact on their quality of life. In order to treat this problem, a dog bite victim will often need to go through expensive reconstructive surgery.



3) Infection – As previously mentioned, a puncture wound can lead to an infection. Children, the elderly and people who have a weakened immune system are more susceptible to infections, but anyone could end up dealing with this issue. The symptoms of an infection include swelling, tenderness, pus, heat and redness, and you will need to visit your doctor for the appropriate medication.



4) Emotional Damage – Many people who experience a serious dog bite will end up dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This could leave them feeling afraid of dogs, and they might even be scared to go outside. Additionally, PTSD can cause nightmares that will make it difficult for the sufferer to sleep. If you are experiencing PTSD as a result of a dog bite, it will be very important for you to visit a trained counselor in order to work through your anxiety.



5) Nerve Damage – Although most dog bites do not cause extensive damage, it is still possible for an angry canine to damage the nerves in your neck, arm, leg or face. Sadly, this can lead to chronic pain and a lifetime of mobility issues, and your doctor might not be able to provide you with much assistance aside from pain medication.



Even if you love dogs, it is still possible for one of them to have a bad reaction to a situation that seems normal. Therefore, you should never let your guard down around another person’s animal. However, if you are still bitten, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you recover your medical expenses.



Writer Melanie Fleury has two dogs and cannot imagine them ever biting anyone , but every dog can potentially cause harm if put in a bad situation. She used the website http://www.mblklawfirm.com/san-bernardino-personal-injury-attorney/ to learn more about what specific laws are regarding dog bites and liability. 



Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/8736140828/

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