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Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.

Rabies & Dog Bite Injuries

Our Michigan dog bite lawyers represent children injured due to dog bites and dog attacks.  In addition to nerve damage and scars caused by the bites, the victims of dog bites may suffer infections, including rabies.  In these cases, the victim of the attack has the right to compensation from the dog owner.

The most common problem following an animal bite is simple infection. The saliva of dogs, is known to contain a wide variety of bacteria. According to one recent study, bacteria or other pathogens show up in about 85 percent of bites. Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States; about 1% of these bites require hospitalization.  Dog bites make up 80-85% of all reported incidents.

Many factors contribute to the infection rates, including the type of wound inflicted, the location of the wound, pre-existing health conditions in the bitten person, the extent of delay before treatment, patient compliance and the presence of a foreign body in the wound.

The most common sign of infection from an animal bite is inflammation. Complications can arise if the infection is not treated and spreads into deeper structures or into the bloodstream. If the bite is deep or occurs on the hand or at a joint, complications are more likely. 

The bacterial species most commonly found in bite wounds include Pasteurella multocida, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas sp, and Streptococcus sp. P. multocida.  For infections other than rabies, treatment involves the use of antibiotics.

Although rare, dog bites can cause rabies. Rabies is a virus that can affect any warm-blooded animal.  Whenever someone is bitten by an animal, the chance of rabies exists. Although the incidence of rabies in humans is low, more than 30,000 people undergo treatment for possible exposure to rabies in the US.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). If rabies treatment is not initiated before the onset of symptoms, death is imminent. High-risk exposures consist of contact with saliva or infected CNS tissue, including corneal transplants, via the following: 

  • The bite of an rabid animal
  • Contact with broken skin
  • Contact with mucous membranes
  • Exposure to aerosolized secretions from an rabid animal

All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies according to local rules and regulations. Wild animals kept as pets should never be vaccinated, and contact with wild animals should be avoided.

If a person is bitten by an animal that is healthy and properly vaccinated, the animal must be quarantined for 10 days. If escape occurs, a physician should decide if the victim should undergo post-exposure prophylaxis. Rabies post-exposure vaccines are given on days zero, three, seven, 14, and 28 following the bite.

For more information about dog bite cases in Michigan, you should request our FREE BOOK, "The Ultimate Michigan Dog Bite & Animal Attack Handbook."  You should also contact us to discuss your child's Michigan dog bite case.

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    Southfield, MI 48075
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