Devastating Dog Bites
Devastating Dog Bites
“OH, what a cute little doggy!” the child coos. That cute little doggy latches onto the child’s face, sometimes with catastrophic results.
The anatomy of the dog’s mouth is responsible for the damage created. The dog’s front teeth grab and compress tissue, and the smaller teeth can also tear the skin. The open jagged wound may turn into an infection and lasting scars.
Dog Bites versus Dog Attacks
A simple dog bite, although traumatic and damaging, is far different from a dog attack. An aggressive dog is capable of killing a person, particularly small children.
In a 2022 incident in England, a dog attacked a 3-year-old boy. After the attack, police found a large number of dogs at the address and worked with a veterinarian to remove the dogs. One dog was killed when it could not be safely removed. The case became a criminal one after the boy died. https://www.newsweek.com/toddler-killed-suspected-dog-attack-1706862
How Common Are Dog Bites?
About 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and800,000 of those victims need medical care.
https://www.caninejournal.com/dog-bite-statistics/. Approximately 30to 50 people died from these attacks.
The two most deadly breeds are pit bull terriers and rottweilers. They account for 76% of 431 deaths that occurred between 2005 and 2020.Pit bulls were bred for dogfighting, and they frequently fail to communicate their intention before they attack. They have a lethal bite style (hold and shake) and use a strategic manner of attack.
Experts in dog bites define the most dangerous scenario for a fatal attack: a child who visits the home of a pit bull or rottweiler or a homeowner who offers to pet-sit one of these breeds in a home with a child. Breeding a dog with a wolf results in a crossbreed with a dangerous risk of attack. These dog breeds can include Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies.
Injuries from Dog Bites
Immediate treatment of a dog bite includes washing the area thoroughly, slowing the bleeding through pressure, and applying an antibiotic ointment, followed by covering the area with a bandage. Diabetics, those with immune disorders, cancer, HIV infection, or liver disease are at particular risk for infection. Dogs carry different bacteria in their mouths and may also transmit rabies.
Physicians or nurse practitioners may order antibiotics and do the suturing. Dog bites may be left open to heal unless they are deep or on the face. A skilled pediatric plastic surgeon is the ideal person holding that suture needle. Bite wounds to the hands carry a high risk for complications because of the bones, joints, nerves, and blood vessels close to the skin. Younger children are at risk for bites to the head and neck, whereas the arms and legs are the most frequent site of injury in older kids and adults.
The dog can inflict scratches, deep open cuts, puncture wounds, crush injuries, and tearing away of a body part. You may recall reading of a South Carolina woman who was attacked by 3 dogs including 2 pit bulls. She lost both arms, a portion of her colon, and was at risk of losing a leg. Caution: graphic photo.
Some bites are left open and not immediately sutured, such as those at high risk of becoming infected:
• Crush injuries
• Puncture wounds
• Bites involving the hands
• Dog bite wounds that occurred many hours earlier https://www.uptodate.com/contents/animal-and-human-bites-beyond-the-basics.
Dog bites and dog attacks can cause devastating injuries, generate terror, and lifelong dog avoidance.
Let our nurses at OnPointLNC help you with your personal injury cases. We can assist you with your case merit screens, pain and suffering reports, and physician experts for causation.
Kimm Ebersole, MHA, RN
Serving Attorneys Nationwide