Cartoons represent dog bites as silly, seemingly harmless events. The truth is far more serious. A large percentage of dog attacks leave their victims with debilitating scars, both physical and psychological. The sound of dogs barking or even venturing outdoors can become a fear provoking situation. Because dogs target the face, neck and head of a child, reconstructive surgery is often required. Even with these surgeries, a child may remain disfigured. So not only do these children have to face corrective surgery, they also may have difficulty finding friends.
It is not unusual for children as well as adults to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from dog attacks. These attacks may remain very traumatic and stress provoking long after the bites occur.
If you have suffered from a dog bite and have continued fears, nightmares, and difficulties handling difficult situations with life, consider contacting someone for a PTSD evaluation. It is possible to recover from this trauma and gain a better capacity to deal with the difficulties stemming from this very terrifying occurrence.
The Center for Disease Center and the American Veterinarian Association reveal a great deal of statistical information about dog bites. Did you know that:
Children are the most frequent targets
The highest incident rate is for 5-9 year olds
For children 10 and under, 77% of injuries are to the face, neck, and head
The family dog was the aggressor in 47% of the attacks on children 4 and under.
4.7 million attacks per year
800,000 of these require medical attention
386,000 require emergency room treatment
32 people died in 2007 from dog mauling and 3 of those were in Florida
Three breeds most likely to bit are Pit bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepards
Pit bull comprise 1/3 of all fatal dog bites
Male dogs ages 1-5 are three times more likely to bite than spayed or neutered animals
Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs
Majority of dog attacks occurred at home or at a friend’s house
Insurance companies pay out about $1 billion dollars per year due to dog bites
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Author: Evelyn Wenzel,MSW,LCSW,CAP