Dog bites are more common than you may realize. According to the CDC, more than 4.5 million people a year are bitten by dogs in the United States. Half of those bites are children. Children are also hospitalized more than adults after a dog bite. Approximately half of all dog bites introduce bacteria that lead to infection. Dog bites can also cause long-term physical and emotional trauma that impacts your quality of life and results in expensive medical bills. There are multiple kinds of infections and long-term injuries caused by dog bites.

Even the friendliest dog can bite when it is scared, injured, or overly excited. Since a bite is an open wound, it can easily get infected and should be taken seriously and properly treated. A few examples of infections and injuries that may occur from a dog bite include:


Rabies can spread from wild animals to dogs and then to humans via bites. Rabid dogs become considerably more aggressive and will bite humans, spreading the disease. The infection attacks the central nervous system and, if untreated, will spread to the brain, resulting in death.  A vaccine is required immediately after being bitten to treat rabies. Otherwise, the results are very likely to be fatal.

Animal control may monitor the dog for ten days after the attack to determine whether there are signs of rabies, but you should also be aware of the symptoms of the disease. If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, be aware that early symptoms of rabies include headaches, mild fever, lethargy, and overall bodily weakness. As the disease progresses, the symptoms may include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety or confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Partial paralysis

If signs of rabies are present in the animal or if the bite victim displays any of the above symptoms, testing should be performed immediately, and vaccinations administered. For guidance in recovering payment for your medical bills and other damages suffered, it is imperative to contact an experienced dog bite attorney.


Staphylococcus, also known as “staph infection,” is a skin disease resulting from the bacteria transferred from a dog bite. Depending on the type of staph bacteria, the symptoms will vary. However, staph infections can result in abscesses, boils, impetigo, cellulitis, and scalded skin syndrome. In serious cases, the infection can cause the flesh to deteriorate down to the victim’s muscle and bone. These infections can be painful and long-lasting, which can greatly impede your quality of life. Many staph infections have become resistant to traditional antibiotics, making them difficult to treat, so you must seek medical attention as quickly as possible. You should also confer with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases to recover for the damages suffered.


Streptococcus, also known as “strep,” is an infection that can turn fatal. Symptoms of strep are similar to staph infections but may include redness at the site of the bite, flu-like symptoms, and fever. In severe cases, the bite victim may require intravenous antibiotics to be administered. In the most serious cases, the victim may have tissue damage that must be surgically removed.

Emotional Trauma

Physical injuries aren’t the only types of injuries resulting from dog bites, but emotional trauma as well. PTSD, especially in children, is common after a dog attack. Nightmares, sleep disturbances, inability to perform in school or at work, intrusive thoughts, and depression are a few among many symptoms caused by PTSD. These issues result in high costs for therapy and medication to deal with trauma, and your lawyer can help you recoup these expenses.

Facial Trauma

Facial injuries from dog bites are most common in children and lead to numerous injuries. According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, facial dog bites can cause soft-tissue injuries, nerve damage, eye injuries, and nasal injuries. Some of these injuries require facial reconstruction surgery. This can leave permanent scarring and expensive medical bills. Facial scarring lowers your quality of life and even negatively affects one’s ability to find employment.


In February of 2022, a man had both his legs amputated after being attacked by a dog. The bite became infected and quickly spread. His legs had to be amputated to save his life. Losing a limb leads to many physical impediments and mental illnesses that last for one’s life.

Nerve Damage

Dogs have powerful bites that can penetrate or crush skin to the point of causing severe nerve damage. The worst forms of nerve damage cannot be healed with surgery, leading to permanent damage. Permanent nerve damage can mean the loss of movement in your limbs, making it difficult, if not impossible, to perform essential job functions.

Has a dog bitten you or a loved one?

Dog bites can lead to long-term injuries and severe infections. This can mean expensive medical bills and substantial drops in quality of life. Loss of employment is also possible when the injury impedes the ability to perform essential duties. Don’t assume that because an infection took time to develop, the dog bite didn’t cause it.

Since 1994, Garrison Law Firm has fought for Arizonians after the trauma of a dog bite. If you live in Arizona, contact us so we can be your advocate. Going through infection or suffering severe injuries is difficult, and you shouldn’t have to face it alone. We will fight for you to receive justice, so you recover the maximum amount you are entitled to for your damages suffered. Call 623-915-1100 today to schedule a free case review.