We love to love them but often times “man’s best friend” can inflict a painful bite.
The most common dog bite victims are children, typically ages five to nine, however, adults of all ages can be harmed by a dog bite. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that nearly 1,000 people everyday report being bitten by a dog. 1 in 6 of these bites require medical care and 1 in 14 of them require emergency care. Of that population, more than 31,000 individuals must undergo surgery every year because of infection or tissue damage.
Not only can man’s best friend leave a victim physically scarred, it can cause emotional trauma and stress even when the memory has faded. Many children will develop neurological or psychological damage and although it is not the leading cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dog bites can and do.
Otherwise known as PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder related to surviving a traumatizing life event. It can cause debilitating distress and impairment in an individual’s social interactions and everyday functioning. Symptoms may last for over a month and may include disturbing flashbacks, fear, depression, anxiety, and hyper-arousal. Many times the condition will improve after a few months, however, some individuals with PTSD suffer long-term effects and feel emotionally numb for a lifetime.
In order to prevent such trauma it is important to respect a dog’s personal space. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who is tied up, eating or sleeping. Be cautious and always remember that often times you are seen as a threat to dogs.