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The Dangers of Dog Bites

Posted on in Personal Injury Lawsuits

dog bites-WaukeganEvery year, an average of 4.5 million people in the United States are victims of dog bites. Dog bites are often times some of the most physically painful and emotionally traumatizing wounds that a victim could suffer.

While many people assume that dog bites are relatively minor injuries that result in little or no long-term health consequences, that assertion is factually incorrect. From sprains and breaks, to puncture wounds that can leave victims with scars or deformities, dog bites can be incredibly dangerous. In nearly a quarter of dog bite incidents, victims are left with more than a puncture wound.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), of the four million plus dog bites that occur annually, nearly 900,000 result in infection. Therefore, if you or a member of your family are a victim of a dog bite attack, contact a Lake County personal injury attorney today.

Types of Infections

According to American Family Physician, dog bites make up approximately 85 to 90 percent of annual animal bites in the United States, and nearly one in four of these bites result in infection. A number of dangerous infections can occur from dog bite wounds, including pasteurella infections, staph infections, and capnocytophaga infections. All three of these infections can be accompanied by painful symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and joint swelling.

Pasteurella infections can be particularly damaging, as the infection can cause a dangerous skin condition known as cellulitis. Cellulitis can lead to a number of problematic health conditions. Like most infections resulting from dog bite wounds, pasteurella infections can be especially threatening to children. Additionally, although incredibly rare, dog bite wounds can spread rabies to humans. While pet owners are legally required to vaccinate their pets for rabies, according to the CDC, only 45 percent of dogs involved in bites requiring an emergency hospital visit are vaccinated for rabies.

Impacts on Children

While dog bite incidents can be dangerous and traumatic for any victim, the long-term physical and emotional ramifications can be even more severe for young children. In 2016, 42 percent of fatalities from dog attacks were to children nine and younger. Due in part to smaller stature, children are more likely to suffer dog bites in areas such as the face, neck, and abdomen.

How to React to a Dog Bite

If you or a family member are involved in a dog bite incident, then it is incredibly important to act with urgency. Contact a local physician, or, if severe enough, call emergency services.

Dealing with the aftermath of these injuries can be difficult and traumatizing to victims of any age. At Salvi and Maher L.L.C., we have been helping victims decide what steps to take post-bite for over thirty years. Contact one of our experienced Waukegan personal injury attorneys today.

Sources:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/from-insects-animals/pages/Pets-and-Pasteurella-Infections.aspx

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0815/p239.html

https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2016.php

https://www.caninejournal.com/dog-bite-statistics/

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