Dog bite incidents on the rise in Britain

by Mark James on November 28, 2010

It seemed almost humorous at the time – when I’m A Celebrity… host Ant McPartlin bent to greet a four-legged act that had appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, the mutt reacted like a rabid Gillian McKeith and sunk its teeth into him.

Fortunately the animal was presumably less talented at biting than McKeith, and McPartlin needed no treatment, but the same cannot be said for many other people in the UK who are bitten by a dog.

Website Patient UK reports 200,000 bites per year, with approximately 28,000 suffering bites to the face and 19,000 of those requiring plastic surgery. In fact, according to the site 100 dog bite victims are admitted to hospital weekly in the UK.

This is a 66 per cent rise from a mere decade ago and, in 2009, savage dog attacks on small children escalated an alarming 14% over the previous year. Overall 1,942 children were bitten badly enough to seek treatment at hospital.

dogbite54 year-old Stephen McQuiggin knows the trauma of a biting dog all too well. The Daily Mirror reported that, in September, the courier was viciously attacked by a Great Dane while making a routine delivery. His face was so badly injured that it has taken three operations at the University of Durham hospital to rebuild his nose, and his surgeon declared that it was the worst injury of its type he had seen in years.

Dog bites happen suddenly, and often for no apparent reason. If you or someone close to you should become a victim, take these steps immediately:

If the wound is minor, clean it with ordinary tap water, and cover it with a sterile dressing.

If the wound is large, get medical help immediately – and remember that physical injury is only one of the possible injuries from a dog bite. There may be psychological complications following the trauma.

Document the attack as closely as possible, ask witnesses to do the same, and file the reports with appropriate authorities.

Because a traumatic incident often results in personal tumult, often including loss of work and finances, you might consider promptly filing a personal injury compensation claim. One caution here, though. The lawyers’ websites we visited note that, as with all personal injury claims, making your claim promptly means it has a greater chance of success.

If you own a dog that you fear may bite another person, it’s best to seek advice about dog training. It is also possible to take out dog insurance to protect you from liability should your dog set about someone, but prevention is much better than a cure.

Now over to Dec in the studio!

2 Comments »

  1. Dog bites don’t happen for no reason. When they happen for “no apparent reason,” it’s because human beings so often ignore common sense in approaching dogs they don’t know, dogs who are already stressed or over-excited, dogs who are, in almost every case, giving very clear signals that they do NOT want to be touched.

    Comment by Lis — November 30, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

  2. I had this terrible experience before when I went to a friend’s house. She got this really little cute and small dog breed that bites everyones she sees. Well, I got to watch my every step because her favorite spot to bite is everyone’s ankles!

    Comment by Barbara — February 8, 2011 @ 3:43 am

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