Injury Prevention

3.) How Does a Dog Attack Change Your Life?

When a dog bites or attacks you, there is an immediate reaction of surprise and shock. Depending upon the nature of the attack, the physical wounds may overshadow any other reaction as you cope with the trauma and your body heals from the bites and scratches. For more seriously injured victims, repeated surgery may be needed to repair damaged parts of the body. Unfortunately, in many instances this is only the beginning of the healing process. The attack can create an entire set of injuries that are not so easily seen, especially in the immediate aftermath. These injuries are psychological and can be found in the way that you think, feel and deal with other people, and the way they deal with you.

Following the dog attack there are a whole set of reactions that can suddenly seem to be at the center of your life, including:

  • Fear of animals, especially dogs
  • Nightmares, which may or may not involve the attack (and may also repeat)
  • Change of appetite and gain /loss of weight
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Speech defects, such as stuttering
  • Other fears or phobias, such as fear of going outside or meeting people
  • Changes in your personality
  • Outbursts of anger, sadness or crying for no apparent reason

After the attack, friends and family will want to show their compassion. While you are recovering from the injuries, this will be not only comforting, but also necessary. People will treat you as special, and you should take the generosity as an aide to help you through the recovery period.

As time goes by, if there are physical scars or you have trouble controlling your feelings, there may be some people who stare at you or even make fun of you. People who do not know you may make judgements about your appearance or behavior, not knowing the reasons or the events of the dog attack.

The changes that you experience may happen right away, or it may be days, weeks, months or even years before they appear. If and when they do occur, there is nothing more important than for you to realize that there is a reason for them and that you can change how you feel.

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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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