Dog bites, no matter how severe, are frightening. Whether the dog is a toy breed or a giant one, bites can cause physical and emotional injuries that range from mild to debilitating. People who are bitten by a dog often experience a common set of injuries. These include:
Abrasions are scrapes and minor cuts. These can be caused by a dog’s mouth or even another physical object if you are knocked to the ground or trying to flee. Abrasions are typically not serious.
Punctures are holes inflicted to the skin by a dog’s teeth. The skin is broken and underlying tissues may be affected. Punctures typically require medical intervention if, for nothing else, a good cleaning out.
Lacerations are most often caused by the victim pulling away from the dog’s mouth. This is a reflex that many people cannot control. The dog has its teeth in, let’s say, your arm, and you try to pull your arm back. The teeth pull through your skin causing tearing. These injuries may require stitches.
Dogs exert an extreme amount of pressure when biting. A larger dog can easily crush your fingers or toes. You may even experience crushing injuries to your limbs. Crush injuries necessitate a trip to the hospital.
While unusual, dogs have been known to fracture bones with their bite. This most often occurs in the fingers, hands, and arms. Fractures of this nature do not normally heal on their own and do require medical intervention.
It’s an unfortunate part of being bitten by a dog, but scarring is common. Whether a small scar from a puncture or a larger scar from a laceration, these scars can leave behind an unwelcome reminder of the incident.
While no one can force you to seek medical attention after a dog bite, it is always recommended if your skin is punctured. Bacteria from a