Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, PhD, CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Blunt injury in dog bite cases

Dog bite blunt injury sustained by victims of a dog attack was the focus of 2001 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery (2001, 36,1115- 1117). The principal conclusion drawn from the study was that blunt injuries from dog bites happen more frequently then one might suspect. This kind of injury is not noticeable or apparent when compared with more typical, visible, penetrating type of dog bite injuries, such as lacerations and puncture wounds.  The authors of this study conclude that treatment for dog bite blunt injury needs to be considered in medical treatment plans.

In this study,  the medical records from 35 patients were review. Patients space where children approximately five years of age, who had received treatment at the Denver’s Children Hospital. All were hospitalized because of serious dog bite injury. From the study pool of 35 patients, 17% sustained blunt injury that was consider life-threatening.  Blunt injury happens as a result of the forceful closure of dog’s  jaw on the victim’s body. Impact happens with the relatively flattened molars in the back of the mouth which might crush rather than cause  puncture wounds or lacerations typically inflicted by the canine teeth in the front of the dog’s mouth.

Symptoms of dog bite blunt injury

            • Vascular damage
            • Neurological damage
            • Crush injuries to the skull
            • Chest wall destruction or compression

In sum, in dog bite cases, of victims often sustain penetrating  lacerations and punctures, and typically this is the extent of the victim’s injuries. However,  in a number of instances, blunt injury might also occur,  these are alone or in addition to lacerations and punctures.  The possibility that victim sustained blunt dog bite injury injury must be considered in most cases.  Attorneys need to be cognizant about this possibility and incorporate this type of injury into recovery costs for their client.

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