If you were bitten by a dog, there are several types of dog bite injuries that can harm you, including puncture wounds, broken bones, soft tissue damage, eye or facial injuries, disfigurement, and various dog bite infections like rabies and tetanus.

Puncture Wounds

When a dog bites, its teeth can sink deep into a person, causing a puncture wound. The act of biting transports whatever bacteria or viruses are inside the dog’s mouth into and under your skin. That is why puncture wounds are so prone to infection. The dog’s teeth also compress and crush the tissue.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that you can get from an infected animal biting you. The virus is in the dog’s saliva, which is why biting is the usual method of transmission from an infected animal to another animal or a human.

If a dog bit you and there is any risk of rabies, you should get the rabies vaccine immediately. By the time a person exhibits symptoms of rabies, it is too late – the disease kills nearly everyone who reaches that stage.

Signs of rabies include:

  • Fever and headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, and agitation
  • Drooling and difficulty swallowing
  • Insomnia
  • Partial paralysis

Tetanus

Unlike rabies, which is viral, tetanus is a bacterial infection. Tetanus, also called “lockjaw,” attacks the nervous system. A unique aspect of the disease is that it can make your neck and jaw muscles tighten, hence, the name. Muscles tighten painfully, to the point that you cannot breathe. The disease can be fatal, and there is no cure.

Tetanus is, however, preventable. Any time you get a significant cut, deep or dirty wound, or an animal bite, you should get a tetanus shot. However, if you received a booster shot within the last five years you do not need to get the tetanus shot, but you should still see a doctor.

Broken Bones

When a dog clamps down on a part of your body, the force it exerts can be enough to break your bones.

Soft Tissue Damage

Dog bites can happen on the person’s hand, head or neck. Injuries to the face, neck or head require immediate medical attention.

You can lose range of motion and function of your hand, arm, foot or leg, due to injuries to your nerves, tendons, and ligaments. If you cannot bend or straighten your finger, lose feeling at the tip of your finger or experience numbness or tingling, you might have nerve or tendon damage. Other soft tissue injuries can include crushing and tearing of your skin, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons.

Eye and Facial Injuries

You might have to undergo multiple plastic surgery and eye surgery procedures to repair the damage from a dog attack to the face. These injuries can be devastating to your appearance. You could even suffer permanent visual impairment from a dog bite.

Cellulitis

When staphylococcus, streptococcus or other bacteria enter your skin through a dog bite, it can cause a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis. This scary infection can go to deeper layers of tissue and become flesh-eating strep or MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), both of which are life-threatening medical emergencies.

MRSA can cause sepsis, pneumonia, and infections that spread throughout the bloodstream. MRSA can be fatal. Flesh-eating bacterial infections can lead to the need for amputations. If you have any of the signs of infection in or near your dog bite wound, go straight to an emergency room, urgent care center or your doctor’s office.

Disfigurement

Since dog bites happen most frequently to the hands, face, neck, and head, which are highly visible and noticeable areas of the body, extensive scarring from a dog attack can be disfiguring. A dog bite injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for this harm.

You have a limited to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your case within the statute of limitations, you may lose your legal right to compensation. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today at 404-474-0804, to get your free dog bite injury consultation. We do not charge attorney fees until you get compensation.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.