Dog Bite Injuries — Scarring
More than half of the 4.7 million victims of dog bites each year are children. In fact, about half of the children in the United States will be victims of a dog bite before they reach their 12 years of age. The size of a child relative to the height of the average dog makes children prime candidates for suffering facial injuries. A study of dog bite victims found that 77 percent of the injuries suffered by children who were less than 10 years of age were facial lacerations.
Scarring is a Common Result in Dog Bites
The difficulty in assessing the extent of damage caused by a dog bite makes it essential to seek medical treatment even in cases in which the outer skin does not appear to be punctured or damaged. The pressure applied by the jaws during a dog bite can be anywhere from 150 to 450 pounds depending upon the size of the animal.
Although lacerations might not appear serious upon first impression, the crushing injury caused by the pressure applied by the dog can damage the underlying tissue and tendons. Surgery might be required to repair the damage in addition to treatment of the scarring itself.
The nature of a dog bite can cause scarring. Dog bites that are accompanied by a shaking or pulling motion by the animal can cause skin to rip and tear in a jagged and uneven manner that can cause significant scarring.
Dog Bite Scarring Can Have Long-term Physical and
The physical pain dog bite scars cause can be worse in cases in which the healing process causes large, raised scars called “hypertrophic” or “keloid” scars. These scars can impair mobility and may require corrective surgery to correct or alleviate the problem.
The physical pain caused by dog bite scarring is only part of the problem victims may experience. Emotional and psychological consequences can be caused by dog bite scars. Some of the common consequences experienced by victims, especially young children, may include:
- Fear of dogs
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
Children with noticeable scarring might become the victims of teasing and ridicule at school. This might lead to the child exhibiting changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn and refusing to participate in activities with other children.
Medical Treatment for Dog Bite Scarring
The risk of infection from bacteria in the dog’s mouth is extremely high in dog bite cases. Doctors will usually begin treatment by cleaning the wound. Antibiotics might be prescribed as a precaution against infection.
A doctor might elect not to suture a wound closed because this could increase the possibility of infection. Visible dog bite wounds, such as those on the face or on the hands, might cause a doctor to suture them closed to minimize scarring. This is a decision that dog bite victims should discuss with their doctor.
If scarring is noticeable after the wound has healed, a dog bite victim should consult with a plastic surgeon who might recommend one or more of the following:
- Laser surgery
- Creams and ointments
Help is Available to Get the Treatment you Need
Getting the medical care you need as a victim suffering from dog bite scarring can be difficult. Insurance companies may refuse to pay the costs of corrective surgery.
At The Felicetti Law Firm P.C., our compassionate attorneys understand the emotional pain experienced by dog bite victims. We fight for the rights of the victims of Florida dog attacks to receive the compensation and medical care they need to help them to recover from their injuries.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about your rights as a dog bite victim by calling us at (800) 707-1954. You can also contact us through our website.