While most people would agree that bonding with a dog can be beautiful thing, there are times when interactions between people and canines go horribly wrong. Every year, people across the state of California and the entire country sustain serious and even fatal dog bite injuries. What's worse is that the vast majority of dog bite injuries are preventable. Recognizing the nature and severity of dog bite injuries can go a long way to prevent them from occurring in the future.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers insight into the prevalence of dog bite incidents in the US. According to the CDC, well over 4 million people sustain dog bite injuries every year in this country. Approximately 20 percent of those dog bites result in infections, and can cause secondary injuries and health issues for accident victims. Beyond that, children are most vulnerable to sustaining serious dog bite injuries. Over 50 percent of dog bite injuries occur in the home and involve an animal that the injury victim is familiar with.
Dog bite injuries can vary significantly in severity; however, it is noted that every wound should be properly treated and monitored to prevent infection and/or further injury. Excessive bleeding and bone fractures are major injuries associated with serious dog bites, but even minor dog bite wounds can lead to more serious complications if not properly treated. It is estimated that around 18 percent of dog bite injuries become infected, and these infections have the potential to cause serious and even life-threatening diseases.
Approximately 50 percent of dog bite wounds that become infected are found to have Pasteurella, a type of bacteria that causes the infected site to be red and painful. MRSA is a type of staph infection that can be spread from animal to human, and is resistant to certain types of antibiotics. MRSA can be fatal in incidents where it spreads to the lungs or bloodstream. However rare in the US, rabies is another disease spread through animal bites, and is fatal in the vast majority of cases.