Even though dogs are popular family pets, they also seriously injure an alarming number of Americans every single year. In fact, after the roughly 4.5 million dog attacks that occur in the U.S. every year, 800,000 victims require immediate medical treatment.
Because of both initial trauma and the risk of infection, it is wise to go to the emergency room after suffering a dog bite. If your injuries are severe, though, you may need to see one or more of the following medical specialists.
1. A plastic surgeon
When dogs bite, they often attack the victim’s face, neck, arms and legs. If you have extensive damage to any of these places, you may to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. These medical professionals use innovative procedures to repair or reconstruct damaged skin and tissue. They also know how to minimize scarring.
2. An otolaryngologist
If a dog attacks your head, your ears and throat may be particularly vulnerable to injury. An otolaryngologist, sometimes called an ear, nose and throat specialist, diagnoses and treats injuries to these vital areas. Meeting with an otolaryngologist after a dog attack may reduce your chances of having speech and hearing complications.
3. A psychiatrist
While your physical injuries must be paramount in the aftermath of a dog attack, you cannot neglect your mental health. After all, a dog bite may cause you to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Seeking treatment from a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist may help you move forward with your life.
Managing care after a dog bite can be both challenging and confusing. Therefore, you may want to ask your primary care physician to determine which medical specialists are appropriate to treat you during your recovery.