Albany Med offers tips on dog bites

Posted at: 07/12/2013 3:26 PM
Updated at: 07/12/2013 6:19 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - Eleonara Shkaf is a nurse.

Her time in pediatrics exposed her to a lot of dog bite victims, but still didn't prepare her for the morning last year when her seven year old German Shepherd Ceasar viciously attacked.

"Seven o'clock in the morning and it happened," she said. "The dog just attacked me. First he got my thumb."

Eleonora suffered extensive wounds to her hands and torso.

She lost the tip of her left thumb.

After the dog was put down, it was determined he had a brain tumor that apparently altered his normally sweet disposition.

"Nationally on an annual basis, it's probably about 800-thousand people actually get bitten by dogs," said Dr. Ashit Patel, a plastic surgeon.

Doctors say about 75 per cent of dog bites occur in children, often because they're too trusting.

After the bleeding gets stopped, they say it's important to be seen by a health care professional.

"As well as be sure that your tetanus status is up to date," said Dr. Josh Pacheco, an emergency room physician. Doctors will also want to verify that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.