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Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C.

Understanding the long-term effects of dog bite injuries

Many people throughout Connecticut, and across the U.S., keep dogs as pets. While many spend their lives as loving companions, there are frequent incidences of dog bites and attacks. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries each year. Of those, 20 percent must receive medical attention. The wounds eventually heal for most dog attack victims, but the physical and emotional effects may be long-term.

When most people think about the effects of dog attacks, they envision the scarring and disfigurement that dog bite injuries may cause. In some cases, these injuries can be improved or eliminated. However, in others, they may be permanent. As a result of such injuries, people may suffer mobility issues, require amputation, or sustain full or partial paralysis.

Due to the germs that can be found in dogs’ mouths, people who have been bitten by dogs may develop infections or diseases. Sepsis, among other infections, is a common concern for many dog bite victims. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that rabies, a disease infecting the central nervous system, commonly results from dog attack injuries. This disease can be deadly, particularly if left untreated.

A dog attack can be a terrifying experience for victims. As a result, those injured may sometimes develop psychological or emotional issues. This may include depression, withdrawal, nightmares and flashbacks. Additionally, the development of post-traumatic stress disorder is common for many who have suffered dog bites. These conditions may persist for an extended period, or throughout a victim’s life.

Often, those injured in dog attacks require medical treatment. This can be costly, particularly when the effects are lasting and long-term care is needed. When the victim is bitten through no fault of their own, the dog owner may be held liable. As such, it may benefit those who have suffered dog bite injuries to seek legal counsel and representation. An attorney may explain their rights and help them to understand their options.

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