Dogs can be great pets and companions. However, owning a dog requires the owner to behave responsibly and safely when handling a dog. Any animal, no matter how domesticated, can be provoked, frightened, or become aggressive in unpredictable circumstances. Thus, measures should always be taken to avoid situations that may result in a dog bite.
Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites, but anyone can be attacked and harmed by an animal. Injuries often affect the head, face, and neck but are also common on the hands and arms of a victim. Wounds on the hands and arms usually indicate that the victim was trying to fend off the dog.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Abrasions: Superficial damage to the surface of the skin
- Lacerations: Irregular tearing of skin tissue
- Punctures: Actual penetration of the dog’s teeth through the skin
- Hematomas: Damage to a blood vessel that causes blood to collect under the skin
- Crush: Relentless force of a dog’s jaws on the victim’s body part
- Avulsion: Physical tearing away of a body part from the victim’s body
- Dislocations and fractures: Dislocation or breaks involving the victim’s bones
The Risk of Infection
Dog bite injuries are risks for infection, particularly open wounds such as lacerations and punctures. Bacteria, dirt, and other germs from the dog’s teeth and mouth can be driven into the wound. It can be difficult to clean certain wounds, and even medical treatment may not be able to guarantee that the wound will not become infected. People with suppressed immune systems are at even greater risk of developing an infection from a dog bite.
If the dog has not been vaccinated, then the victim is put at further risk for other diseases, primarily rabies. If the dog was bitten by a rabid animal, then it has been infected with rabies. An unvaccinated dog needs to be quarantined in order to determine its health status.
Not all dog bites will leave a permanent mark, but many will require plastic surgery to repair the damage. Nearly all dog bites cause the victim serious pain and emotional distress. All dog bites should be looked at by a medical expert to ensure that precautions are taken against the risk of infection.
If you have been bitten by a dog, seek medical care and then, contact Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq., The Dog Bite Lawyer. He is dedicated to the victims of dog bites and he cares that they get the compensation they deserve. For a consultation, call today or fill out our contact form, and Mr. Penneys will contact you right away to discuss your claim. If you’ve been bitten, then it is time to take action.