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What treatment for dog bite can involve

A couple of weeks ago, we offered up an item about what might seem to be a rather mundane issue – the rate of U.S. Postal Service carriers attacked by dogs. Many might be surprised by the statistics in the latest annual report by the USPS on this subject. Officials reported 6,549 dog attacks in 2015. The scope of the kinds of injuries that may have been suffered wasn't delved into, but the number itself is significant.

As we observed in that entry, dog attacks on people are so common that they almost go unnoticed. About the only time they attract attention is if the victim is a child, the dog is a pit bull or the injuries suffered are life threatening. But as anyone in Texas, Georgia, or elsewhere who has been an attack victim can attest, recovery after an attack can require significant time and medical resources. Whenever a federal worker needs workers' compensation benefits, the process can be eased with the help of an experienced attorney.

Those with experience treating dog attack injuries know that it can be a challenge. As is explained on the MedicineNet.com website, there are three primary issues to assess and possibly address.

At the very least, there is the question of skin injury. The teeth of a dog are sharp by evolutionary design and they can do some serious damage. Such injuries tend to be obvious and thus treatable. But that may not be enough. There could be significant damage to underlying tissue that isn't immediately apparent. Nerves may be severed or muscles lacerated. Depending on the size of the dog and the circumstances of the attack, bone could be fractured.

Unless doctors are thorough, there could be a permanent loss of use of a hand, arm, leg or worse.

Infection is another major concern. There's a widely held view by some animal lovers that a dog's saliva is cleaner than a human's is. It's not true, as any reliable veterinarian or doctor would tell you. When dogs bite they inject whatever is in their mouths into the victim. Streptococcus, Staphylococcus or Pasteurella bacteria could all be transmitted. If the animal hasn't been properly immunized, rabies becomes a concern.

Dog bites are clearly something to take seriously.

Source: MedicineNet.com, "What is the treatment for a dog bite?," accessed June 14, 2016

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