Dog attacks can lead to very serious injury and even death - and they might be more common than you think. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year and almost 885,000 dog bite victims require medical assistance each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
What are the most common types of dog bite injuries?
- Puncture wounds. Although puncture wounds from dog bites may not bleed profusely, they can be dangerous and should be treated immediately. Puncture wounds can go deep within the flesh, making them prone to infection. Those suffering from puncture wounds from a dog bite or animal attack should visit a doctor, clean the wound thoroughly, dress the wound regularly, and take prescribed antibiotics.
- Infection. Since dog bites and scratches involve dog teeth and paws, chances of infection are great - dogs can be covered in soil, waste, bacteria, and other unclean materials that could be transferred to wounds during an animal attack. Signs of a dog bite infection include redness, swelling, pus, tenderness, and heat. The very young, the very old, and the sick may be especially prone to a dog bite wound infection.
- Facial scarring. Even though most dog bites will heal, some, especially children, could be left with permanent facial scarring or body scarring. These scars may change the quality of life for the dog bite victim, stealing from them self-confidence and perhaps the chance for a normal life. Many suffering from facial scarring in the wake of a dog bite attack require painful, expensive reconstructive surgery. In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs
- Nerve damage. Dogs can bite deep and hard - many times damaging the nerves in a person's face, neck, arms, or legs. Dog bite nerve damage can lead to mobility issues and chronic pain long after the initial wounds from a dog attack have healed.
- Emotional damages and post-traumatic stress. Especially when children are bitten or attacked by dogs, the injuries go deeper than puncture wounds or open wounds - many parents report nightmares, a fear of going outside, a fear of dogs, and other symptoms of trauma.