Vicious dog attacks not only traumatize the victim, but can entail long and arduous recovery periods.  Especially for the youngest Kansas City dog attack victims, facial injuries are a major threat during a dog attack.  Seventy-seven percent of dog attack injuries to children below the age of ten are facial injuries, of which facial fractures, disfigurement, nerve damage, and infection are all possible side effects.

Forty-four thousand facial injuries are treated in the United States each year.  In fact, facial injuries resulting from a dog attack account for up to 1.5 percent of all emergency room visits.  Dogs attack the facial region 77 percent of the time.  Typically, the lips, cheeks, and nasal area are most likely to be affected.   When death occurs from a dog bite, it is usually the result of the victim bleeding out after a severe puncture or wound to the arteries in the neck.

Danger of Infection

Infection after a dog attack is a major concern.  One of the first things medical personnel will do is cleanse the wound(s) in order to prevent infection.  Although rare, major complications from infection after a dog bite can occur.  Watch out for the following symptoms following a dog attack:

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Redness and swelling surrounding the wound

Scarring and Disfigurement

Severe disfigurement and scarring can result from facial dog bite attacks.  In some cases, the damage to the facial tissue is so significant that doctors must cut it away in order for it to heal.  Skin graft surgeries are usually necessary after the damaged skin is removed.

Even after the wounds are healed over and the danger of infection has passed, a dog bite victim can remain scarred for years.  Some wounds scar so severely that plastic surgery, even multiple surgeries, may be required. 

Emotional Fallout

Understandably, dog bite attack victims, especially young children, may endure a period of time where they fear dogs.  The fear can become so devastating that many will not feel safe outside of the home.  Isolation and depression may accompany the fear.  Small children can regress into infantile behavior, such as thumb-sucking, bedwetting, and unreasonable fears.  Children may become overly clingy to their parents and experience anxiety when they are separated.  Older children may withdraw emotionally and experience nightmares and scary flashbacks of the attack.  Therapy and medication may be necessary to treat the emotional scarring left after a dog bite attack.

If the dog attack victim suffered scarring or disfigurement, the emotional toll following the attack can be devastating, and change the victim's life in every way.  Socially, the person may become withdrawn and unable to function in public.  Victims of disfiguring dog bites endure uncomfortable stares and attention.  Self-esteem issues may surface rendering any attempt at a normal life difficult.  Again, counseling may be necessary to help the victim cope in addition to further surgeries to correct the disfigurement.

Have you or a loved one been the victim of a dog bite attack?  If you have questions about your rights, the personal injury lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your questions.  Call us at 888-348-2616 for more information and download your free copy of the resource guide 10 Essential Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Injury Claim.


James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.