Effects of dog bites

Dog bites can affect a person for a long time through physical scars, nerve damage, infections, mental trauma and other indirect injuries.

It can be hard to know exactly how an animal bite will affect a Connecticut resident. According to WebMD, 1 in 5 injuries caused by a dog or another animal requires some type of medical attention. The rest of the 4.7 million people bitten by a dog each year likely have minimal injuries that do not require the advice of a doctor.

Physical scars

One of the most common lasting effects of an animal bite is a scar. Bites that are allowed to heal on their own are more likely to leave a permanent mark. Sometimes, medical professionals use stitches or sutures to close up the wound to help reduce the disfigurement, but this can allow infection to grow. The severity of the attack dictates how badly a person may be scarred or disfigured.

Nerve damage

Not only can a bite damage skin and muscles, but it can also affect a person's nerves. Nerve damage can result in loss of feeling or reduced use of a body part. If a bite is not treated right away, the damage done to the nerves may be irreparable.

Infections

Infections are a serious concern for animal bites. According to Healthline, roughly 50 percent of cat bites and 15 percent of dog bites result in some kind of infection. Bites often become infected by bacteria that was on the person's skin or in the animal's mouth at the time of in the incident. Rabid animals are more likely to cause infected wounds.

After a dog bite, the victim may want to watch for signs of infection, such as swollen lymph nodes, difficulty breathing, pus in the wound, loss of sensation, fever and redness near the bite. If left untreated, an infected wound could lead to sepsis, tetanus or rabies.

Mental traumas

Animal attacks can lead to emotional injuries as well. For example, after being attacked by a dog, a person may start to experience feelings of self-doubt and other mental issues, including the following:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Reoccurring nightmares
  • Agoraphobia
  • Fear of dogs

A survivor of a dog attack may need to visit a counselor to better address these potentially life-long mental problems.

Indirect injuries

A dog does not need to bite or scratch a person to cause injuries. When an aggressive animal comes near someone, the person may try to leave harm's way as quickly as possible. This could lead to tripping over an unnoticed curb, falling down stairs or running into oncoming traffic.

Aggressive animals in Connecticut can cause a lot of physical and emotional damage to children and adults. If injuries are sustained because of a dog bite, it may be beneficial to turn to a knowledgeable attorney for help.