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How bad can dog bites be?

Dog bites are a serious problem in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere in the country. Whether you are a dog owner or not, it is critical to understand what can happen when a dog bites someone. 

Last year, nearly 40 people were killed as a result of dog bites, and many of these victims were elderly or young children. These and other statistics should make it clear to anyone that all instances of dog bites should be taken seriously. And readers should also understand that even if a bite isn't fatal, it can still be catastrophic.

Non-fatal repercussions of dog bites

Not every bite is deadly. However, bite victims can suffer many other serious, life-changing injuries, including:

  • Infections
  • Serious lacerations
  • Disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Extensive tissue damage
  • Broken bones

These injuries can require immediate medical attention. Antibiotics administration, physical therapy and surgery can be necessary. 

In some cases, the damage is permanent. A person might lose a limb to amputation, have significant scarring or lose feeling in the area around a bite.

It is also important to note that not all injuries experienced as a result of a dog bite are physical. Victims often experience emotional trauma that does not heal like a physical wound. This can include depression, anxiety and embarrassment from disfiguring injuries as well as nightmares, personality changes and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. A person can also become incredibly fearful of dogs and other animals.

Because of all that can happen when a dog bites someone, it is crucial to take all instances seriously. This means filing a report and holding the appropriate party responsible for any damages resulting from the bite. While these actions cannot undo the devastation of a serious dog bite, they can make it easier for victims to cope with their injuries and help protect others from a similar incident.

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