Dogs are a beloved part of many New Mexico families. Unfortunately, when it comes to any animal, there is always going to be the unknown; most commonly an unexpected dog bite or attack.

Dogs may bite for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it may be aggression, whereas other times it is fear. No matter the cause, dog bites are often extremely serious.

Different types of injuries, but they all may be serious

Dog bites can be as psychologically traumatic as they are physically injurious. According to Healthline, there are several different complications that you may endure after a bite. A dog’s mouth carries bacteria foreign and dangerous to humans and if the teeth break the skin, infection can quickly set in.

In addition to infection, a dog’s bite may cause flesh, nerve and muscle damage. Most bites will also lead to scarring afterwards. Over time, scarring may fade but in severe cases, a skin graft or plastic surgery may be necessary. This is particularly true when the bite is on the face of a young child.

Even with small dogs, the bite pressure is enough that it can damage the nerves beneath the skin. Even if you see nothing more than a small puncture, there may be hidden damage. The larger the dog, the stronger the force of its jaws. Some dogs may even fracture bones in the hands or feet.

While rabies is rare in our modern times, it is possible. Given that rabies can be fatal, it is crucial that you discover the vaccination history of the dog and see a doctor immediately.

Don’t let sleeping dog bites lie

If you or a member of your child has suffered a dog bite, it is important for yourself AND the community that the bite gets reported. This is often a difficult decision because most dog bites occur between neighbors and extended family. People don’t always want to seek financial damages. But even if the injury appears minor now, the medical fact is that many become more serious than initially thought. Seeking damages through the pet owner’s homeowners (or other) insurance provider is the only way to recover the full and fair money damages that may become necessary.