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What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Dog Bite or Animal Attack?

 Posted on February 18, 2020 in Personal Injury

Will County personal injury attorneysMost of the time, family pets are friendly and loving. That is why dogs are often called “man’s best friend.” However, there are instances where a dog or other animal may become aggressive and attack a person—even its owner, in some cases. Injuries suffered can range from a scratch to severe lacerations and nerve damage. An animal bite can also result in serious or even fatal infections.

Under the Illinois Animal Control Act, if someone is injured by a dog or another domesticated animal, the pet owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries. The law applies to situations where the victim was neither trespassing nor provoking the animal in any way.    

Symptoms of Infection

At first glance, a dog bite victim may not think his or her injuries are life-threatening. However, they may experience symptoms later that signify a more serious condition. Some of the common symptoms of infection include:

  • Pus oozing from the wound
  • Pain in areas around the bite
  • Loss of feeling near the bite
  • Limited use of the body part that was bitten
  • Red marks at the bite site 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills or fever
  • Night sweats
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle weakness or tremors

Victims of animal bites should seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent long-term or irreversible damage to body parts or organ function. 

Lasting Effects of Bite Injuries

For all the positive benefits of having a pet, individuals should be aware that dogs can become aggressive and dangerous. When germs from dogs are spread to people, they may cause a variety of illnesses, ranging from minor skin infections to serious diseases, such as the following:

  • Rabies - This is one of the most serious diseases people can endure from dog bites, since it can be a fatal neurologic disease caused by a virus. 
  • Campylobacteriosis - This type of bacteria lives in the mouths of people, dogs, and cats. It can cause life-threatening infections in infants, elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. 
  • Pasteurella - This is a type of bacteria seen in over half of infected dog bite wounds. Pasteurella can cause painful skin infections and lead to widespread infection that may affect the nervous system.
  • Tetanus - This is a toxin that is produced from the Clostridium tetani bacteria, and it can lead to rigid paralysis.
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) - This is a staph infection that can lead to lung, skin, or urinary tract infections (UTI). In certain cases, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs, causing harmful infections.

Contact a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer

A dog or animal attack can be traumatizing for anyone. It can also result in bite injuries that lead to life-threatening infections. If you or your loved one is the victim of a dog bite or animal attack, it is crucial to speak to a legal professional. The accomplished law firm of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC understands the devastating effects that an animal injury can have on a victim’s life. Our diligent Joliet dog bite attorneys will aggressively fight for your rights to recover damages for your injuries, regardless of whether they are minor or debilitating. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation. 



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