The Long Term Effects of Dog Bites

Categories: Dog Bites

Little girl afraid of dogDog bites are common injuries because so many people have pets. They are also common because no matter how well trained a dog is, it has the potential to bite. There is no guarantee that a dog will not bite someone. When someone is bitten by a dog, the injuries can be minor or long-term. Some injuries can be life threatening for small children and the elderly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 people who were bitten by a dog required reconstructive surgery. There are approximately 885,000 people bitten by dogs each year that require medical attention.

It is important to know that long-term effects can result from dog bites, including physical and emotional injuries. When suffering from long-term effects of dog bites, some victims might require regular medical treatment, which can be costly and inconvenient.

Diseases and Infections

It is also possible for a person who has been bitten by a dog to suffer an infection. When dog bites are left untreated, or not treated properly, infections can occur. This can lead to diseases, which can be deadly if not caught immediately. One such issue is that of rabies. Dogs infected with rabies who bite people can transfer the disease, and if it is not caught early and treated immediately, the disease can be deadly.

Should an infection occur from an untreated dog bite, any of the following can occur:

  • Sepsis
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of function
  • Amputation
  • Death

Physical Injuries

Not every dog bite will result in long-term effects, but those that do are sometimes very serious. Some of the common long-term effects of a dog bite include the following:

  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent scars
  • Amputation
  • Mobility issues

Some disfigurement injuries suffered during a dog bite attack can be corrected by using reconstructive surgery. And although in some cases, such surgery can only improve the scarring or disfigurement, in other cases, it can be eliminated altogether.

Emotional Injuries

As with all types of accidents or attacks, dog bite attacks can lead to long-term emotional injuries. Many people who are bitten by dogs can experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the rest of their lives.

This is very common in children who are bitten by dogs. Children might never be able to be around dogs again, even if it was a trusted, family dog that bit them. Children bitten by a dog might also experience an attachment disorder. This involves crying or experiencing fear when separated from their parents. Children, and even adults, can suffer depression, nightmares, flashbacks, and withdrawal after a serious dog bite attack.

Some other effects of this type of trauma for children can include any of the following, according to the VA National Center for PTSD:

  • Aggression
  • Feeling of loneliness
  • Acting out the incident when playing
  • Self-harm
  • Worry, fear, anger, or stress
  • Unusual sexual behavior

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact the law offices of Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq. by submitting the contact form on our website or by calling 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell). We will discuss your options and help you seek resolution to your dog bite incident.