The long-term consequences of dog bite injuries

Florida parents are likely aware that dog bite injuries can be extremely painful for young children, but they may be surprised to learn how challenging this type of injury can be for doctors. Research published in a medical journal in 2013 revealed that many dog bite injuries result in permanent scarring, and repeated surgery is often required to minimize the long-term damage.

The researchers studied the cases of 105 children aged between six weeks and 11 years who suffered a serious dog bite injury between 1995 and 2005. The overwhelming majority of these children suffered a combination of laceration, crush and shear injuries. While the majority of these bites resulted in wounds that could be closed with stitches, follow-up surgery was still often required. The medical research revealed that 75 percent of the children underwent additional procedures to reduce scarring, and a second or third operation was called for in about a quarter of the cases studied.

The children studied were familiar with the dog in question 95 percent of the time, and most of the bites occurred when the child was interacting with the animal. While most dogs will bite a child if sufficiently provoked, researchers found that certain aggressive breeds were more likely to be involved in this kind of incident. Researchers also observed that legal action was taken in about a third of the cases studied.

Parents of children who have suffered a dog bite injury may pursue civil remedies against the owners of dangerous dogs when they have not taken adequate steps to control their pets. A personal injury attorney with experience in this area will likely be aware that this type of injury often requires prolonged and costly medical treatment, and the request for damages will take that into account.

Source: Science Daily, “Facial dog bites in children may require repeated plastic surgery”, Wolters Kluwer Health, April 22, 2013