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These complications of dog bites can impact your life

The last thing you expected to deal with today was an injury from a dog biting you. You take the same route to run every day, but today you ran across a dog that looked like it was injured. It had a collar, so you called to it.

As it approached, it suddenly bared its fangs. Something might have spooked it, but regardless, the dog attacked you. Fortunately, someone nearby saw the attack and got the dog off you. The dog has been captured and the owner called. Now, you have to deal with the consequences of the attack.

There are a number of medical problems you could deal with as a result of this attack. Here are just three that you should be aware of.

1. Infections

Infections can start out subtle but develop into life-threatening conditions if not treated. For this reason, most people who suffer from a dog bite need to take at least some antibiotics after the attack. The hands are most commonly infected because of their complex anatomy and the fact that many bones, joints and tendons can be involved in the injury. Around 40 percent of all hand bites become infected.

Bite wounds are more likely to become infected when they're deep or when the person who suffered the bite is immunocompromised or abuses alcohol. Complications from bite wounds can include endocarditis, septic arthritis and sepsis.

2. Torn or damaged muscles, ligaments and tendons

When a dog bites through a person's skin, there's a chance his or her teeth could impact bone, tendons, muscles, veins or ligaments. When a dog moves its head side to side in an attack, this causes ripping and damage to those tissues. As a result, patients need X-rays and other medical treatments to assess the damage that has been done. Surgery may be needed to correct torn or damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments or bone.

3. Post-traumatic stress disorder

Another complication of a dog bite is the mental strain it causes. If you've ever suffered a bite and found yourself having nightmares or feeling terror every time you see a dog, you may be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although PTSD is often associated with military personnel, anyone who suffers from trauma can develop it. When it develops, it may be weeks after the initial injury or just hours or days later. The condition is recognized as an ongoing mental and emotional stress state that occurs as a result of injuries or severe psychological shock. People with PTSD often have vivid nightmares or recall of the event and may feel anxious or depressed in day-to-day life. It's common for those with PTSD to struggle with sleep.

There are many complications of dog bites, which is why getting the right medical care is essential. Your attorney can help handle the legal side of your case so you can focus on recovery.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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