Dogs are the most popular pet in the US, and it seems that many people have a special dog in their lives. Dogs have been found to help reduce stress levels in people and are often helpful in calming those who are suffering from physical or emotional disabilities. Unfortunately, along with a large population of dogs comes a higher incidence of dog bites. The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that more than 4 million dog bites happen each year in the United States. Many of the injuries are serious and some are fatal. Sadly, many of these dog bites could have been prevented if proper care had been taken.

Dog Bite Injuries are on the Rise
Statistically, most dog bites happen to children and men. Many dog bites occur to mail carriers because they are in contact with a great number of dogs during the day, many of which are not properly restrained. The USPS recently released information regarding dog bites to mail carriers. Their figures show that San Diego was the second highest city for dog bite injuries in 2015, second only to Houston, Texas. It is also important to note that reports of dog bite injuries by mail carriers in San Diego were up by 23% from the previous year. There was an increase noted across the board.

Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Many types of serious injuries can be caused by dog bites. Puncture wounds may range from superficial scratches to deep, severe wounds that reach the tendons. When a dog bites down it may not want to let go. If someone tries to pull the dog off the person while the dog is still biting, the skin will be ripped open. Animal bites are often very painful and they may cause infections very quickly because of the bacteria they carry.

Rabies is a possibility in those who are bitten by a dog who has not been vaccinated. In situations where the dog is unknown or has not had a rabies shot, the victim must go through a series of rabies shots to prevent this deadly disease. Because of the nature of animal bites, the skin is usually scarred after healing and may require skin grafts or other surgery to minimize the damage.

Prevention of Dog Bites
The majority of dog bite injuries can be prevented if the owners take the proper care and precautions necessary. Dogs must be restrained while outdoors and they must always be under control. Fences must be secure if you plan to leave your dog outside unattended. Owners should encourage their dogs to become socialized at a young age so that they are not a risk to others. If a dog is known to be dangerous it should wear a muzzle whenever it is near people or other pets.

People should be aware that not all dogs are friendly. Do not try to pet a dog that is unknown to you. Never try to remove food from a dog while he is eating. If a dog becomes aggressive it is best to stay still and do not panic. Running from a dog can cause it to get agitated and excited.

If you or a loved one were injured by a dog bite or animal attack of any kind, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced legal team at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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