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Common Types of Injuries in Dog Bite Cases

Updated on: 2/20/2019

dog bite injuriesWith millions of people bit by dogs each year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 885,000 dog bite victims require medical assistance each year. 

The attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., have over 20 years of experience handling dog bite injury claims. They’ve found these to be some of the most common types of injuries sustained:

Puncture Wounds

The most common type of injury associated with a dog bite. Suffering a puncture wound from a dog bite is usually painful and scary, and should be treated immediately. 

Puncture wounds may not bleed a lot, but they are dangerous and should be treated quickly. They are prone to infection, even when they don’t go very deep into the flesh. Visit a doctor, clean the wound, dress the wound and take antibiotics.


Dogs can be covered in untold amounts of bacteria, making a dog bite victim prone to infection. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infection occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of dog bites.

Healthline states that dog bites can lead to infection because they often occur on the fingers or hands, areas of the body that have a harder time fighting infection. When left untreated, infections can be serious and sometimes life-threatening.

The following are all signs of a potential infection:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Pain/swelling/inflammation
  • Pus or fluid oozing from the wound
  • Loss of sensation around the bite wound
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulty

Facial Scarring

In severe cases, victims are left with a lasting reminder of their attack. In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery because dog bites.

Deep dog bite wounds may require many stitches to close and repair the area. While suturing can be used to close a dog bite wound and does reduce scarring, it can also increase the risk of infection. Facial injuries are usually the most difficult for victims to deal with, and many opt for plastic surgery to prevent scarring.

Nerve Damage

If a bite is deep enough, it can mean potential nerve damage in a person’s arms, legs, face or neck. Dogs have extremely strong jaws and long, sharp teeth. That’s a dangerous recipe for dog bite victims.

There are three common forms of nerve damage that Davis Law Group’s attorneys see in dog bite cases:

  • Neurapraxia: The least serious of these three types of nerve damage, neurapraxia nerve damage can cause temporary loss of function for a few hours to a couple months. Victims can typically expect a full recovery.
  • Axonotmesis: This occurs when the nerve is stretched. A victim may experience paralysis, and it may take weeks to years for a full recovery.
  • Neurotmesis: The most severe form of nerve damage in dog bite cases. It may be impossible to achieve a full recovery as the damage is likely permanent.

Post-Traumatic Stress

People of all ages can suffer post-traumatic stress after a dog bite. While dogs are an important part of many people’s lives, victims suffering from PTSD may have a perpetual and permanent fear of dogs because of their attack.

The following are signs of PTSD after a dog bite:

  • Extremely emotional
  • Reliving the dog bite attack
  • Nightmares
  • Fearing dogs

Victims experiencing PTSD may opt to see a counselor to overcome their trauma. 

Legal Assistance In Your Dog Bite Case

If you or your child has been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries that were suffered. Dog bite injuries can be life-altering and very severe, but do not let the negligence of the dog owner go unpunished. 

Contact Davis Law Group to get what your deserve. We provide a free case evaluation to see how we can best assist with your dog bite case. Call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.

Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.
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