5 SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS OF DOG BITE INJURIES
May 12, 2014
Millions of cases of dog bites are reported every year in the United States. Even though most of these bites aren’t serious, many of them do result in substantial medical bills, time lost from work, and significant pain and suffering. More than adults, children tend to be on the receiving end of dog bites. If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog, there is a risk of a number of different complications, even with prompt medical attention.
A bite from an aggressive and powerful dog can do significant damage. If the attack is vicious enough, it could cause large-scale scarring and disfigurement. Even though they are rare, cases of dogs biting off limbs of small children have been reported from various parts of the country. Dog bites causing serious facial injuries are also common.
Rabies is a disease which causes acute brain inflammation in warm blooded animals, including humans. Cases of rabies are extremely rare in the United States because dog owners are legally required to vaccinate their pets. However, if you have been bitten by a dog, there is no reason to needlessly assume that the animal is not rabid. The virus which causes the disease could stay hidden for up to a year. Rabies is almost always fatal once the body starts to show symptoms. Therefore, make sure that the animal which has bitten you is properly vaccinated, and if it is not, go to your nearest hospital as soon as possible.
Sepsis is an extremely rare complication of a dog bite injury, but it can happen. Commonly referred to as blood poisoning, it is a potentially fatal inflammation caused by serious infection. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, low blood pressure, elevated heart rate, etc. It can be treated using antibiotics and intravenous fluids. However, cases of severe sepsis are frequently lethal.
Meningitis is the inflammation of the membrane which covers the spinal cord and the brain. Because the inflammation is extremely close to these essential parts of the body, this disease can be life-threatening. Common symptoms include stiffness of the neck and headache, coupled with fever, vomiting, confusion, etc. The presence of bacteria, viruses or other similar organisms in the saliva of the dog could lead to meningitis.
The inflammation of the endocardium, the inner layer of the heart, is called endocarditis. This disease can be difficult to treat with medication because, unlike other parts of the body, there is no dedicated blood supply to the valves in the heart. If certain bacteria, which could be present in dog saliva, get attached to the lining of the heart, endocarditis can result. Even though such complications are not a common aspect of dog bite injuries, they cannot be ruled out. It is essential that you or your loved one receive immediate medical care following a dog bite. Once your condition is stable, the next step is to discuss your case with a competent dog bite attorney. If you have been a victim of a dog bite, we can help guide you regarding your future course of action, and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering.