Dog bite wounds occur with alarming frequency in the United States. Every year, more than four million attacks are reported and some experts believe the actual figure is twice that amount due to under reporting. There are various types of dog bite injuries that may occur, ranging all the way from minor puncture wounds through death. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of all the common dog bite wounds, as well as information on dog bite wound treatment.
Most dog bite wounds are punctures, caused by the animal’s teeth as it closes its jaw around the victim. The severity of punctures will vary, and a victim is also likely to have some tearing from the animal shaking its head, as well as scratches. All punctures should be examined by a physician, to assess the extent of the damage and to take steps to avoid infection. Minor punctures may heal with minimal complications, but more severe ones, especially those that include tearing, can result in permanent disfigurement, impairment, and multiple surgeries to correct the damage.
All dogs in Philadelphia are required to be up to date with vaccinations in order to be compliant with the laws and the licensing requirements. Most domestic dogs are not a risk for spreading rabies, but there is still some risk, and the disease is fatal if not treated promptly. If the dog that attacked cannot be identified or did not have its vaccinations, prophylactic treatment is necessary. This consists of six shots over a period of 28 days.
Around 27,00 Americans undergo plastic surgery every year to correct damage caused by dog bite wounds. With children, especially young ones, being the most at-risk group for attacks, the face is a common target. Scarring can be minimized by seeing medical attention early and by taking steps to prevent infection.
Emotional and Psychological Damage
Children are especially prone to experiencing PTSD and PTSD-like symptoms following an attack, but all victims are at risk. A person may become fearful of all dogs or become upset in everyday situations when something triggers them to remember the attack. Counseling and time may help reduce emotional and psychological damage, but there is no quick or certain cure.
Broken bones can occur, even if the skin is not broken. The sheer force of a dog’s jaws can literally crush a person’s bones, though broken bones may also occur when a victim falls or attempts to fend off an attacking dog. With these types of injuries, prompt attentions from a medical professional is necessary, and healing time can take months.
TBI and Head Trauma
Most head trauma occurs as a result of a fall as a victim is being attacked, though lacerations and bites to the head may also occur. When the impact is severe, traumatic brain injury (TBI) may occur, which could lead to permanent disability or death. Even a simple bump could result in internal bleeding, so it’s imperative to visit a doctor immediately after an attack if any kind of head trauma occurred.
Sadly, around 30 Americans every year succumb to their injuries and never recover. This is more common when the dog attacking is a known “dangerous breed” such as a pit bull or Rottweiler, but even Pomeranians have killed small children.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or your child was attacked by someone’s pet, it’s important to get treatment for your dog bite wounds right away. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for you to heal, and will lay the groundwork for a claim if you need to seek compensation for your injuries and losses later. At Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer, we connect victims with experienced professionals who can help them obtain a fair settlement to cover the costs of their injuries and rebuild their lives. If you’d like to find out more about what you are entitled to, reach out to them and schedule your free consultations today.