Dog Bite Wounds and Injuries

A Comprehensive Guide to the Literature for Personal Injury Lawyers

Publisher: Medifocus Legal
Publication Date: November 2, 2023
Number of Pages: 134
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 4.7 million Americans suffer from dog bites annually. An estimated 885,000 dog bite victims seek medical attention for their injuries each year of which nearly 40% require emergency room treatment. The majority of emergency room visits for dog bites are children between the ages of 5 and 9 years.

While some injuries from playful dog bite "nips" result in only superficial skin scratches and minor lacerations, attacks on young children often cause deep wounds, particularly bites to the head and neck. In contrast, older children and adults are more commonly bitten on the extremities either the hands or lower limbs.

With readily available rabies vaccinations in the U.S., the threat of rabies infection in humans from dog bites has all but vanished. The primary dog bite-related diseases in humans are bacterial wound infections. Studies have shown that up to 30% of dog bite cases can result in severe bacterial wound infections. Although more than 100 species of bacteria have been recovered from bacterial infections caused by dog bites, the top 3 bacterial pathogen groups are Pasteurella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Typically, infected wounds from dog bites are purulent without abscess formation, however, non-purulent wounds characterized by cellulitis and lymphangitis are also relatively common.

The long-term physical effects of dog bites depend upon several important variables including the severity of the bite and the anatomical location of the injury. The long-term physical sequelae may include permanent scarring, disfigurement, infection, and pain. Some dog bite victims require several rounds of plastic surgery to achieve a functional and aesthetic reconstruction of their injured limb. Studies have shown that dog bite victims can also suffer emotional disturbances such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and behavioral problems. In one such study, more than 50% of children exhibited evidence of either complete or partial PTSD at one month after sustaining a dog bite injury.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability expenses, up to the liability limits (usually $100,000 to $300,000). Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls or Rottweilers, that are categorized as dangerous. According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers about $880 million in 2021. The average cost per claim for dog bite-related injuries in 2021 was $49,025.

The MediFocus Literature Guide to Dog Bite Wounds and Injuries is a comprehensive reference guide to the medical literature that is designed to provide personal injury lawyers with an in-depth understanding of the often serious nature of dog bite wounds and injuries and the possible long-term physical and emotional consequences of these traumatic events. This objective is accomplished by a thorough review of the peer-reviewed medical literature published over the past two decades about dog bite-related wounds and injuries as documented from case reports, cohort studies, and major topical review articles.
Dog Bite Wounds and Injuries is a one-of-a-kind literature reference Guide that includes:

  • A comprehensive bibliography of 179 journal article references indexed in MEDLINE published in well respected medical and scientific journals.
  • Online access to the abstracts (summaries) of the articles.
  • Online access to the free full-text version of 41 articles.
  • Links to full-text sources of other articles that are available for purchase directly from individual journal publishers.
  • A unique "Author Directory" consisting of the names and institutional affiliations of experts who have published and have specialized knowledge about Dog Bite Wounds and Injuries. The "Author Directory" is a valuable resource for quickly identifying and locating experts for case reviews, opinions, and testimony.

Select examples of topics that are covered by the articles referenced in this Guidebook include:

  • Medico-legal implications of dog bite injuries: A systematic review.
  • Legal epidemiology of paediatric dog bite injuries.
  • Nationwide Analysis of Dog Bite Injuries: Different Age Groups, Different Injury Patterns.
  • Management of Dog Bite Injuries: Procedural Sedation, Infection, and Operative Indications at a Single-Institution Level I Pediatric Trauma Hospital.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder after dog bites in children.
  • Facial dog bites treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital over a 20-year period.
  • Hospitalizations for pediatric dog bite injuries in the United States.
  • Risk factors associated with infection in patients sustaining dog bites to the face.
  • Scoping decades of dog evidence: a scoping review of dog bite-related sequelae.
  • Assessment of 16-month Sequelae Due to Dog Bites Originally Studied in a French Multicenter Survey from 2009 to 2011.
  • Arterial Injury in the Upper Limb Resulting from Dog Bite.
  • Ophthalmic Manifestations of Facial Dog Bites in Children.
  • Pediatric Dog Bites: A Review of 1422 Cases Treated at a Level One Regional Pediatric Trauma Center.
  • Reconstruction of face and scalp after dog bites in children.
  • Predictive Factors of Neurovascular and Tendon Injuries Following Dog Bites to the Upper Extremity.
  • Intracranial Injuries from Dog Bites in Children.
  • Contemporary update on the treatment of dog bite: injuries to the oral and maxillofacial region.
  • Morbidity of pediatric dog bites: a case series at a level one pediatric trauma center.
  • Risk factors for hospitalization after dog bite injury: a case-cohort study of emergency department visits.
  • Dog and cat bite-associated infections in children.
The MediFocus Literature Guide on Dog Bite Wounds and Injuries
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