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The traumatic aftermath of a dog bite

In California and across the country, almost 90 million dogs are a normal part of households. Many dogs provide companionship, emotional support and entertainment, and in return receive pampering and affection from their human families. As much as you may love dogs, when one bites, it can be a traumatic and painful experience.

Nearly 900,000 dog bite victims require medical attention each year, ranging from a few stitches to multiple surgical procedures. Although some jurisdictions have instituted bans on certain breeds, particularly the pit bull family, any breed of dog can bite, and any dog bite can result in serious medical complications.

Dog attack injuries

Few dogs attack without provocation, but it is not always easy to recognize when a dog is stressed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend teaching your children how to behave around strange dogs, including explaining that your children should not approach a dog they do not know or touch a dog that is asleep or eating. Children are the most likely group to suffer a dog bite, and their injuries tend to be traumatic, including:

  • Deep punctures
  • Blood loss
  • Disfiguring scars
  • Crushed bones
  • Muscle and nerve damage
  • Emotional trauma

Seeking medical treatment after a bite that breaks the skin is important because dogs' saliva carries many kinds of bacteria and germs that can result in infections. One of the most serious is rabies. If the dog who bites you or your child is known to you, it is important to find out from the owner if the animal's vaccinations are up to date. If the animal is a stranger, you or your child may have to undergo rabies vaccinations. Other diseases you may contract from dog saliva include these:

  • Pasteurella, which is a painful infection leaving you susceptible to more serious illnesses
  • MRSA, which can be life-threatening if it spreads to the blood or lungs
  • Other types of staphylococcus infections
  • Tetanus, which can result in paralysis

A dog attack can be life-changing, leaving you or your child with lifelong trauma, pain and suffering. While you can take precautions and teach your child how to behave around dogs, an unprovoked attack is ultimately the responsibility of the dog's owner, even if you were invited onto the property. A dog owner is obligated to keep his or her dog under control. Failure to do so may result in civil action where you will seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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