What care might someone need after a dog bite?

A dog bite can seriously impact a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, and they may need extensive treatment to help them recover. What might the treatment for a dog bite involve?

Surgery

A severe animal bite can do permanent damage, especially bites that impact a person’s hands, face or other sensitive areas, and repairing the area impacted by a dog bite may require surgical intervention. Bites may require surgical intervention to repair fractured bones, damaged muscles or torn ligaments.

Bites may also seriously impact a person’s appearance. These surgeries are surprisingly common, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting that 47,454 people in 2020 alone required reconstructive surgery after a dog bite.

Medication and vaccination

Dog bites that break the skin can introduce hazardous bacteria into the body, and those bacteria can lead to infections like tetanus, rabies and sepsis. Depending on the type of infection, a person may need antibiotics, rabies vaccinations or other treatment to protect their health.

Care for a patient’s mental health

An animal attack can be distressing, and that fear may last long after the physical wounds heal. Some people who experience a dog bite may develop post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health struggles in the aftermath of a bite. People whose injuries have a permanent impact on their physical appearance may also struggle with the emotional impact of that change. This strain may lead patients to need mental health care in addition to treatment for their physical health.

Because the care associated with a bite can be costly, it is important for injured people and their families to explore all possible options for compensation. The right support can help them address the cost of care and help them move forward after a bite impacts their life.

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