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Dog Attacks and the Health Effects of Dog Bites

Dog attacks are more common in New Mexico than in some parts of the country.  This is largely because people tend to have houses and yards where many dogs are kept.  Throughout any given year, the attorney’s at Whitener Law Firm regularly see dog bite claims.

Who is at Risk for a Dog Attack?

The most common type of dog bite claims we see at Whitener Law Firm are postal service workers and there is an occasional ambulance drivers.  This is because these individuals are entering an area that the animal has claimed as his territory.  Nevertheless, they are not the most common victims of dog bites.    Young children are most frequently the victims of dog attacks.  This is particularly true for children between the ages of five to nine years old.  Children at this age may play inappropriately with dogs or make them feel threatened.

What Dogs are at Risk for attacking?

There are many opinions regarding whether special breeds of dogs have a propensity to attack.  It seems there can be no doubt that some dogs are inherently more aggressive and more capable of causing harm than others.  The reality is that most dog owners buy dogs based on these innate qualities of different breeds.  Nobody uses a golden retriever or an English Springer Spaniel as a guard dog and most people don’t choose a Rottweiler or a German Shepherd as a baby’s first pet.

Male dogs tend to be more aggressive and are also more likely to attack than female dogs.  Most dog bites occur in the home or where the dog is protecting its territory.  This means that the offending dog  is a family pet or the owner is a friend or neighbor.  It may seem surprising, but bites from stray dogs are rarer because strays are often wary of humans and usually keep their distance.  They are less likely to be guarding territory.

Injuries and Health Effects of Dog Bites

Dog attacks can be very serious.  It is common for animals to rend and tear flesh during an attack.  This can lead to scarring and permanent injury to a body part.  Besides scarring, the most common complication following a bite is an infection of the wound. This is especially true if the skin surrounding a wound becomes tender, painful, swollen, or inflamed in the days following the animal attack.  A dog attack victim is at risk for infections after the attack.  Germs and bacteria can enter into the bloodstream through a wound and cause a serious infection in the body.

Whenever there is an animal attack, it is important to seek medical treatment from a doctor as soon as possible.  By visiting a doctor, the victim can decrease his chances of getting an infection.  See a doctor if you feel unwell after a bite or have a fever, shivers, or other worrying symptoms within a week or so after a dog or cat bite.

It is also important to be aware that an animal that has not had its rabies vaccination may potentially be carrying the canine parvovirus or rabies virus and victims who are unsure if the animal is vaccinated should consult a doctor. Rabies results in the death of almost 55,000 people worldwide each year and the vast majority of cases are transmitted by dog bite

If you here injured in a dog attack, you should call Whitener Law Firm to find out what your rights are in your particular circumstances.  Contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION.  Call Whitener Law Firm at (505) 883-RUSS [883-7877] or complete our Online Contact Form.


Whitener Law Firm

4110 Cutler Ave NE

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110

(505) 242-3333