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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Rabies’

A 79-year-old Man is Killed by a Pack of Stray Dogs

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

The Stray Dogs

Stray Dogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, near Whitley City, Kentucky, a 79-year-old man was found dead outside a home not far from Highway 1651. The Kentucky State Police received a call about a body in the yard of a home and went to the scene. They were able to identify that Vinson W. Tucker, of Stearns, was deceased. A surveillance video was made available to the police by a nearby resident. According to police, the security video captured the scene when Tucker was attacked and killed by several dogs.

Police found all of the dogs shown in the video; all were near the scene of the fatal dog attack. All of the dogs involved have been euthanized. They were sent to a state facility for the purpose of being tested for rabies.

An autopsy is set to be performed on Tucker.

Detective Billy Correll made some statements with regard to Tucker’s death and the dog attack captured on surveillance video. He said that a review of the video suggests that the attack was completely unprovoked, and four dogs were involved.

Correll said Tucker was seeking to visit the property’s owner when he was attacked by the dogs. He also said that, according to witnesses, the dogs were strays that had been regularly seen roaming the neighborhood. This is reportedly the first time the dogs caused problems. Of course, since the incident occurred yesterday, it is still under investigation and more details may emerge.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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An 8-year-old Girl’s Hand is Bitten Off by an Alaskan Malamute – Part 3

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Phot...

English: A Chihuahua protecting its bone. Photographer’s blog post about this image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following is information on what to teach your kids about preventing dog bites. Keep in mind that the majority of dog bites occur in the home, with people of all ages being bitten by the family dog. More tips on what to teach children to avoid dog bites follows:

  • When you’ve been playing with a dog and he leaves, that means he’s had enough for now. He’ll let you know what he’s ready to play again. One way to know is to ask the dog if he wants to play, in a lively voice. and pick up one of the dog’s toys. If your dog stretches out his two front paws like he’s stretching, that typically means he’s ready to play again.
  • Never pull a dog’s tail or ears. Do not try to climb on or ride a dog, either.
  • Babies and small children should never be left alone with a dog. There must always constant and direct supervision.
  • Tell your parents if you see a stray dog, and your parents will report it to animal services.
  • Do not drag dogs around (this often happens with small dogs). Even if your dog seems to like dressing up, only dress dogs when an adult is directly supervising.
  • Do not even pretend to hit or kick a dog because it puts the dog on defensive and could lead to a painful dog bite.

Finally, it helps if parents will do some research to determine what level of care a child is able to give to a dog. The responsibilities should be gradually increased as they grow older.

Learn more about dog body language in the next segment.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series for more safety tips on how to avoid a dog bite.

–Guest Contributor

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A Child in Crowley, Texas, Undergoes Rabies Shots; Stray Dogs Sought – Part 4

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Patient with rabies, 1959

Patient with rabies, 1959 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to rabies, whether bitten by an animal or having been in contact with a rabid animal, it is essential to see a doctor. At the onset of rabies, symptoms feel much like the flu and may last for days. Signs and symptoms of rabies include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive salivation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hydrophobia, which is fear of water and is caused because of the difficulty of swallowing
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Partial paralysis

As rabies progresses, a person may feel a prickling or itching sensation at the site of the bite. Next will come cerebral dysfunction. Later on, the person will experience abnormal behavior, delirium, and insomnia. There have been fewer than 10 documented cases of a human being surviving clinical rabies.

Be sure to see a doctor if you are bitten by any animal. Your doctor will help you decide whether you should receive post-exposure rabies treatment, to prevent rabies.

Seek medical treatment, even if you are unsure whether you are exposed to rabies. An example is if a bat flies into your room while you are asleep. It could have bitten you without your being aware. If you ever find a bat near a person who is unable to report a bite, such as a young child or a person with a disability, assume that the person has been bitten.

Read more about protection against rabies in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Child in Crowley, Texas, Undergoes Rabies Shots; Stray Dogs Sought – Part 3

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Global Alliance for Rabies Control Logo

Global Alliance for Rabies Control Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What to Do if Exposed to Rabies

A human contracts the rabies virus through the saliva or brain/nervous system tissue of a rabid animal, whether the animal is dead or alive. Only these specific tissues and bodily excretions can infect someone with rabies. If you are exposed to rabies, the situation is urgent but not an emergency. There is a specific time frame in which you must begin receiving post-exposure rabies vaccinations, known as post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). If you wait until signs and symptoms of the disease are apparent, death is almost 100% certain. It is best to have the animal that exposed you to rabies quarantined and watched for signs of the disease. If the animal is not available, it becomes necessary to take the post-exposure treatment, as a potentially life-saving cautionary measure.

Once you realize you have been exposed to rabies, immediately and thoroughly wash the exposed area with soap and water. Rabies isn’t just passed on through bites. If the saliva of a rabid animal comes into contact with an open wound on your body or, for example, your eye membrane, you have been exposed.

Visit a doctor or the state or local health department about your exposure to rabies. The experts will decide whether a rabies vaccination is needed. The decision will be based on the type of exposure, the animal you were exposed to, and the surveillance and laboratory information regarding the geographic area in which the exposure occurred.

In the U.S., PEP consists of the following regimen:

  • One dose of immune globulin
  • Four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. These are given on days 3, 7, and 14, after the first dose.

Unlike in former times when rabies shots were very painful and given in the stomach, the current vaccines are given in the arm and are practically painless.

Read more about protection against rabies in Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series. Read about signs and symptoms of rabies in a human in the next segment.

–Guest Contributor

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A Child in Crowley, Texas, Undergoes Rabies Shots; Stray Dogs Sought – Part 2

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

English: Close-up of a dog's face during late-...

English: Close-up of a dog’s face during late-stage “dumb” paralytic rabies. Animals with “dumb” rabies appear depressed, lethargic, and uncoordinated. Gradually they become completely paralyzed. When their throat and jaw muscles are paralyzed, the animals will drool and have difficulty swallowing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following are more tips for preventing rabies and keeping yourself, your family, and your animals safe:

  • All contact with wild animals should be avoided.
  • Never touch an animal that is injured or sick.
  • All wildlife issues and stray animals should be reported to animal control.
  • If you see wildlife exhibiting abnormal behavior, such as a skunk approaching people in the daytime, immediately contact animal control.

Does Your Dog Have Rabies?

The following are signs that your dog may have contracted the rabies virus, which is deadly and can be passed on to humans:

  • Change in the dogs tone when barking.
  • If the dog is usually shy, he may behave with excessive excitability.
  • If your dog is usually aggressive, he will exhibit unusual shyness.
  • Constant irritability and changes in behavior and attitude.
  • Paralysis in the larynx and mandible.
  • Excessive salivation or frothy saliva.
  • Seizures.
  • Fever.
  • Hydrophobia.
  • Paralysis.
  • Unable to swallow.
  • Pica, which is an eating disorder involving persistently eating substances such as paint or dirt.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog has rabies. If you can do so safely, subdue or cage your dog and transport him to a veterinarian to be quarantined. If your dog is behaving viciously, such as trying to attack you, and if you are at risk of being scratched or bitten, contact animal control to catch your dog for you and take him into their care for quarantine.

Read more about protection against rabies in Part 1 and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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A Story of Three Vicious Dog Attacks in the U.S. Within Three Days – Part 3

Monday, April 6th, 2015

English: Riverside walk It is always wise to k...

English: Riverside walk It is always wise to keep your distance from a large dog who has just had a good splash in a river. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What to Do If Bitten by a Dog

If you are bitten by a dog, try to remain calm. Take the following three basic steps:

  • As quickly as you possibly can, wash the wound thoroughly using warm water and soap.
  • Contact your doctor for advice and additional care, as needed.
  • Contact the local animal care and control agency to report the bite. You will need to tell animal control everything you can about the dog. You may be the owner; but if you aren’t, report the owner’s name and address, if you know it. If the dog was a stray or if you don’t know where the owner lives, give as accurate a description of the dog as you can, where you saw the dog, and whether or not you’ve seen him before. Investigators will also want to know which direction the dog went following the attack.

Rabies

The potential of contracting the deadly rabies virus is a huge concern, when bitten by an unknown dog or a dog that has not been vaccinated. If the dog is identified and captured, he can be quarantined. The quarantine period lasts ten days, and the dog is closely observed. If the dog shows no signs of rabies, the dog bite victim may be able to avoid taking rabies shots.

Getting post-exposure rabies vaccinations is a must, when there isn’t a certainty that the dog was not infected with the virus. Once the symptoms of rabies are manifested in a human, at that point it is too late; there is virtually a 100% chance the person will die. The rabies shots must be given as early as possible after the dog attack, when needed.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series. In the next segment, learn about the many types of injuries dog bite victims suffer.

–Guest Contributor

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How to Treat Dog Bites and Prevent Infection

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

A brindle Great Dane.

A brindle Great Dane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog bites are a common fact of life, especially if you have a dog or are frequently around dogs. Approximately 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs annually. Parents should be especially alert on behalf of their children because almost half of all dog bite victims are between the ages of 5 and 9. Children are also much more prone to be seriously injured as a result of a dog bite. It’s important to give a wound from a dog bite proper medical attention, to prevent infection. Of course, one of the most crucial considerations when bitten by a dog is to ensure that rabies exposure hasn’t occurred. In cases where the dog can’t be located, the dog bite victim should always have post-exposure rabies shots, since the disease results in death virtually 100% of the time, without the treatment.

The following is basic information about how to treat a dog bite at home:

  • Stop the bleeding by placing a clean towel and direct pressure over the injury.
  • Keep the affected area elevated, if possible.
  • Carefully and thoroughly wash the wound with warm water and soap.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury daily.
  • Apply a sterile bandage.

Of course, there are times when a dog bite should be treated by a physician instead of at home. Visit the emergency room or your doctor’s office if you’ve been bitten by a dog you are unfamiliar with; if there are signs of infection, such as swelling, warmth, pus, and redness; or if you cannot stop the bleeding. Dog bite infections can be treated with antibiotics.

Dog bites can cause much more damage than a simple puncture wound. See this continuing series for more information about types of injuries caused by dog attacks.

–Guest Contributor

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A Dog Bites a Person in Harris County and Tests Positive for Rabies – Part 3

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

None – This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following are some key facts about the rabies virus:

  • An animal can only spread the rabies virus in the last stage of the disease, when rabies travels from the brain to the saliva glands. Transmission of the rabies virus usually occurs as a result of a bite.
  • It is not possible for rabies to be passed through skin that is unbroken. The deadly virus can only be spread through a rabid animal’s bite or through open wounds, mucous membranes, abrasions, and scratches which come into contact with the brain tissue or saliva of an animal infected with rabies and in the last stage of the disease.
  • When it has had exposure to open air, rabies is a short-lived virus. Saliva is the only environment rabies can survive in. When the infected animal’s saliva dries up, the rabies virus dies.
  • Anyone who handles an animal that has possibly been exposed to rabies should take special precautions. Wear gloves in order to prevent saliva from getting into a scratch, abrasion, or open wound.

Signs of Rabies in Animals

Wild animals may exhibit rabies in a “furious” form or in a “dumb” form. In the furious form, the animal may snap or bite at real and imaginary objects and appear to be agitated. In the dumb form, wild animals may show no fear of humans and could appear tame.

Other signs that an animal may be rabid follow, but they are also possibly indicative of distemper or lead poisoning. The animal may:

  • Appear excessively wobbly, as though drunk.
  • Do a lot of circling.
  • Be partially paralyzed.
  • Appear to be disoriented.
  • Mutilate itself.

A clear sign of rabies is when a nocturnal animal, such as a skunk or raccoon, is active in the daytime, exhibiting abnormal behavior. Anyone who witnesses this phenomenon should immediately contact local animal control, a state wildlife agency, or the humane society.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series for more information about the deadly rabies virus. In the final segment, learn suggested precautions against rabies.

–Guest Contributor

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What a Texas Physician Did After Being Bitten by a Dog

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

A Chihuahua.

A Chihuahua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In late October, a Dallas, Texas, physician was attacked by a dog as he was riding his bicycle. The bite was deep enough that it went all the way to the bone and tendon. The dog’s owner was walking the dog but did not have him on a leash. The woman, who also had several large dogs on leashes, apologized about the bite and said the dog had never been aggressive toward anyone before. When the doctor asked for her name so that he could verify whether or not the dog was current on rabies shots, she refused to give her name, saying he would only call the police. She then ran off. But before she ran away, the doctor quickly took a picture of her and her dogs.

Anytime someone is bitten by a strange dog and then isn’t able to confirm that the dog definitely did not have rabies, getting painful post-exposure rabies vaccinations is an absolute necessity. Rabies is fatal if there is no treatment prior to symptoms being manifested. Therefore, it’s truly important to know where a dog came from and how to contact the owner, if you get bitten.

In this case, the doctor had been unable to get contact information from the dog’s owner, but he used social media in the hopes of finding her. He posted the picture of the woman and her dog on Facebook. Within 24 hours, the picture had 20,000 looks and 1,500 hits. One of the people who saw the picture on Facebook recognized the dog and identified the owner. The doctor was able to see the medical records that showed that the dog had current vaccinations, and no post-exposure vaccinations were needed.

Read more about this story and what to do in the event of a dog bite in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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An 8-year-old Girl Returns Home from a Near Deadly Pit Bull Attack – Part 2

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Bellevue Office...

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — Bellevue Officer Jim Bartley, gets pounced on by Leda, a Lavista Police Dog, during a routine joint training with Offutt handlers and military working dogs on April 10. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

See Part 1 and the following for more information about the types of injuries caused by biting dogs in this two-part series:

  • It is not uncommon for a dog attack to result in bone-crushing injuries. The skin of the victim may not even be pierced, if the clothing served as protection from puncture wounds. Some dogs, such as pit bulls, have powerful jaws and easily cause fractures and other damage due to the amount of pressure applied in a bite.
  • Scarring is a common result of a dog attack. Dogs most often target a person’s face, including the nose, lips, and cheeks. Statistics show that approximately 44,000 facial injuries from dog attacks are treated in U.S. hospitals annually. The scars can be disfiguring. Repeated, painful, and very costly plastic surgeries are often required to either reduce or remove a dog bite scar.
  • People of all ages who have been attacked and injured by a dog often suffer a lifetime of emotional scars. These are psychological injuries which can have an adverse effect on all facets of life, sometimes making it difficult to hold a job and sometimes causing sleeplessness. Some dog attack victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the symptoms include: flashbacks of the dog attack, frightening memories, unreasonable fear regarding personal safety, nightmares, emotional withdrawal, and difficulty maintaining concentration. Psychological counseling and treatment, including lifelong treatment, are sometimes needed for a person recovering from a dog attack.
  • Victims of dog attacks are sometimes exposed to the deadly rabies virus and must get post-exposure shots. Rabies is deadly virtually 100% of the time if symptoms of the disease are manifested before vaccinations are given to the victim.
  • About 18 people die as a result of dog bites in the U.S. every year.

–Guest Contributor

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