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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2006 Jul 1;11(4):E348-50.

A review of facial injuries due to dog bites.

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Health Division, Joinville City Hall, Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil.


Bite injuries to the head and neck region can result in facial disfigurement with distressing physical and psychological consequences. This article reviewed the causes and management of facial bite wounds due to dog bites. A PUBMED search of the National Library of Medicine from 1995 to December 2005 was conducted. Keywords used in the search were facial wound, bite wound, dog bite. The results showed that the risk factors for dog attacks include: school-aged children, male, households with dogs, male dogs and certain breeds (german shepherds, bull terriers, blue/red heelers, dobermans and rottwellers). Early management of such complex injuries usually guarantees satisfactory outcome. Most of the cases involve a known dog (friends, neighbors) and family pet. Although animal bites are not the most accounted children injuries, deaths may a result of these attacks. Antibiotic therapy is indicated for infected bite wounds and fresh wounds considered at risk for infection, such as extremely large wounds, large hematoma, and cat bites, that appear be more infected than dog bites. Tetanus immunization status and the risk of rabies infection should be routinely addressed in bite wound management. Prevention strategies should be considered for preventing dog bites.

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