Dog bites can cause significant injury and even death. When a dog bites a person, there is a risk of damage to muscle and bone, and also a risk of infection. But the most significant risk comes from nerve damage. A particularly vicious dog bite can sever a nerve entirely, permanently damaging the limb and even carrying a risk of amputation.
Because of the significant health ramifications of a dog bite, it is important for dog owners to pay attention to their animals and monitor for signs that the dog might be dangerous to others. In most cases, a dog that goes on to injure a person has a history of aggressive behaviors. In some instances this includes a past history of biting, but even less extreme behaviors indicate an increased propensity to bite. Behaviors to be on the lookout for include:
- Baring teeth and growling
- Raised hair
- Widening of eyes
- Rigid body posture
Dogs that frequently exhibit these signs should be carefully monitored, as these are signs of potential aggression. Sadly, many owners ignore these signs, even when the dog repeatedly growls and bares teeth towards strangers or even family friends. In some cases, these animals even evidence these behaviors towards family, but are still allowed the freedom to roam yards or even neighborhoods.
Some owners think a leash is sufficient, but when a dog becomes aggressive, the animal will all too often pull free from the handler. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog bite, it is important to reach out to an experienced attorney. Obtaining a detailed history of the animal’s behavior can often help establish that the attack was preventable if the owner had properly monitored their dog and been honest and aware about the potential for violence.