Is PTSD common after a dog attack?

Miley Legal Group

Unfortunately, yes, post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional and psychological conditions are quite common after a dog attack. Fears and sadness after an attack can sometimes be worked out by talking them over with loved ones, and leaning on your support system.

“Unfortunately, in some cases this is not enough to fix the problem. This is especially true if the attack is severe or life-threatening. In these instances, it is so common for there to be bad side effects that there is a medical term used by doctors and mental health to describe the condition. It is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” explains the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Symptoms of PTSD after a Dog Attack

Unfortunately, children often suffer the most from PTSD. More than half of children bitten by a dog experience PTSD symptoms two to nine months after the attack, according to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Symptoms can include the following.

  • Irrational fears and phobias
  • Depression or feeling numb
  • Recurring memories and flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of or inability to discuss the attack or the injuries
  • Hyper-arousal (easily startled)
  • Physical symptoms of panic, i.e., racing heartbeat, sweaty palms

The mother of a six-year-old girl who was attacked by a large dog and sustained serious injuries explained that not only did her daughter have nightmares, but she was constantly afraid “something bad” was going to happen to her or her family. In a news report, the mother commented, “She was afraid to step outside. She didn’t even want to walk to the mailbox.” The little girl was diagnosed with PTSD.

Legal Help in Clarksburg after a Dog Attack PTSD

If you or your child suffered physical and emotional injuries such as PTSD after a dog bite attack, you can contact The Miley Legal Group for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.  Call us today at 304-931-4088 to schedule a brief appointment.