Dog bites don’t have to be gruesome to be deadly. In fact, according to health experts, even the smallest injury from a dog bite can be fatal. How so? The high risk of infection due to the type of bacteria that may live in a dog’s mouth (side note: human bites can carry a greater risk of infection than dog bites). This means that if you or your child were bitten by a dog, it is imperative to seek medical help, even if the bite does not appear to be deep.
What’s more, dog bites can cause significant damage beneath the skin, causing an injury that cannot always easily be appreciated or even seen by the untrained professional. Cuts or lacerations have a higher risk of infection than scrapes and puncture wounds caused by dogs with especially strong jaws are considered to have the highest risk of infection. To learn more about what can happen when a dog bite goes untreated, click here. The bacteria that causes serious infection may come from the animal’s mouth or may be present on victim’s skin. As the bacteria multiply, the body’s immune response causes common symptoms of infection (swelling and inflammation, for example). If you see any signs of infection following a dog bite, seek immediate medical attention, even if you have already visited a doctor relating to the bite.
After being bitten by a dog, and depending on the severity of the injury, a doctor will generally clean the wound and provide a prescription for antibiotics and a tetanus booster if necessary. More serious bites often require surgery and extensive medical treatment.
Dog bites happen in the San Fernando Valley and across the country with alarming regularity. In fact, according to the CDC, about 4.5 million people are bitten annually. Children from the ages of 5–9 years (especially boys) are at the highest risk of being bitten, and sadly, most of these bites are from a household dog or a dog that is known to the child. Injuries to children are usually located on the head, neck, and face (due to a child’s height) whereas adults are most likely bitten on the hand or upper extremity. Often, these seemingly small bites on the fingers and hands can cause the most problems down the road for dog bite victims, as these can be challenging places to heal.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is always a wise decision to seek the care of a medical expert. Next, contact an experienced dog bite attorney to discuss your legal rights and ability to recover compensation for medical bills, etc…
For more information on how to file a dog bite lawsuit, contact San Fernando Valley dog bite lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today.