A dog can be a wonderful pet for a child. Not only does it teach the child empathy and responsibility in caring for a dog but it can also form a lifelong bond. However, all animals, no matter how domesticated, carry the risk of attacking a person. Children tend to be smaller and easier targets for dog bites. In children, the risk of vascular injury (injury relating to the blood vessels) due to a dog bite is much higher than that of an adult.
How Does Vascular Injury Arise from Dog Bites?
Dogs, as well as other predatory animals, usually attack the head and neck. Since children are closer to the ground large breeds of dogs can access a child’s neck much more easily than they could an adult’s. Though occasionally a dog may grab hold of a leg or arm, it is merely trying to bring down the prey so that they can better access the neck. Once a dog has hold of the neck their teeth clamp down hard on the carotid arteries.
The carotid arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen to a person’s brain. Injury to these important vessels could result in a stroke, even if there is no evidence of severe trauma. For example, a seven-year-old boy had been bitten by a dog on his neck. Though physicians cleared the boy after finding no evidence of trauma, the boy still suffered from a stroke and died.
In another case a five-year-old boy was bitten on his upper arm by a dog. Here again, physicians noted that the dog bite was merely superficial and discharged the boy to his home. However the blunt trauma from the dog bite caused a major artery in his arm, the brachial artery, to become blocked.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself from a Dog Bite?
It’s important to remember that you should always see a physician after a dog bite. Even if there is no visible damage, your blood vessels could have been affected. Luckily vessel damage from dog bites are rare in adults.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and face mounting medical bills, give The Advocates a call. We’ve got numerous experienced dog bite attorneys who can help. We’re available to chat with you regarding your dog bite case day or night and the first discussion is always free. Call us today!