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Common California Dog Bite Injuries


Common California Dog Bite Injuries

My name is Ed Smith and I’m a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney. Our firm knows how deeply upsetting and painful it can be when you’ve just been bitten by a neighbor’s dog or a stray dog that seemed to appear out of nowhere. You may be wondering if the dog has rabies or be struggling with great pain due to a deep puncture wound or serious bleeding. Rest assured that we know how to provide you with the proper legal advice while you seek out the best emergency room care available for yourself or a loved one.

Here’s a brief look at how many dog bites are regularly reported in this state and the most common types of injuries that people report.

California Has More Annual Dog Bite Injuries Than Most Other States

Recent estimates indicate that about 1,900 dog bite injuries are annually reported in California. Of course, that number would be far higher if we knew how many more bites occur that are simply handled at home with first aid kits. Back in 2013, State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute issued a report indicating that California had more annual dog bite injuries than any other state in the country.

Injuries Most Commonly Reported to Doctors

  1. Deep bites that must be thoroughly cleaned and sometimes sutured. Whenever there’s serious bleeding or pain, a doctor must examine the victim. The deepest wounds can even injure muscles, nerves, tendons or bones. The treating doctor or nurse will first pursue debridement – a process that involves carefully removing all bacteria, dirt and dead tissue from the area. Since it’s necessary to carefully examine the deepest part of the wound, a shot of local anesthesia may be required. Then, an irrigation solution may be injected into the wound to help clean and clear away all other infected matter. A doctor must then decide if sutures should be used since they can increase the chance of infection. Victims who incur serious facial or other wounds may also require plastic surgery to minimize all potential scarring. If sutures aren’t advisable, a sterile bandage will be applied;
  2. Surface scratches and skin tears. Like the far deeper wounds, these also require careful cleaning of the wound area. Frequently, the injured area is first elevated to help stop the bleeding. It must then be carefully cleansed with soap and water – or some type of preferred antiseptic. A sterile bandage will then be applied to the wound.
  3. Rabies and tetanus shot concerns. The doctor will ask if you’ve stayed fully current with your tetanus shots. If there’s any question, you may have to endure a series of shots to protect you – if it’s determined that the dog had rabies. If the dog was never caught, you may also need to obtain such shots.

If the examining doctor believes any bones were fractured, X-rays will be ordered. In some cases, a person who suffered serious hand bites may require a splint to keep the area immobilized and properly elevated.

Before you leave, your doctor may inject you with an antibiotic and then give you a two-week prescription for this same type of drug. Special ointments may also be prescribed.

Follow-Up Care Often Advised

Since dog bite wounds often run deep and carry high chances of infection, your emergency room or regular doctor will often ask you to return for a visual inspection of the wound within three or four days – much sooner if wound complications develop. You’ll also be asked to carefully follow all written instructions for further cleaning the outer portion of the wound and applying new sterile bandages.

Related Articles by Ed Smith:

Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer. If you, or someone you love has suffered a serious animal or dog bite injury, please call me right away at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

Since 1982, I have been helping people who have been viciously attacked by an animal. My office helps injured people recover fair compensation for the losses they have suffered. I work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing up front. I get paid only after a successful outcome of your case.

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Image Attribution: Sacramento Dog Bite Injury Lawyer – Edward A Smith

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