Do Small Dogs Bite? | Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyers
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Do Small Dogs Bite?

Most dog bite cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire involve large dogs and significant damage. This leaves many people wondering if small dogs also bite and if so, why there aren’t as many publicized cases. Here’s what to know about small dog bites, how to hold owners accountable, and when you should reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney for help.

Aggression vs. Size

It’s commonly thought that larger dogs are more aggressive than smaller dogs, but this isn’t necessarily true. Any breed can be aggressive or friendly depending on a number of complex factors like their upbringing and health status.

That said, big dogs tend to cause more damage when they attack compared to smaller dogs with less power behind their jaws. The larger a dog is, the more pressure per square inch their bite has and the more harm it can do.

For example, a 50 pound dog might have a 220 psi bite force, which is strong enough to tear flesh and crush bone. Even larger dogs can have a bite of up to 700 psi.

Teacup-size dogs, like chihuahuas and miniature greyhounds, generally have a much lighter bite with only 75 to 100 psi. While this is plenty strong enough to cause severe lacerations, it’s less likely to require extensive surgery and hospitalization like a large dog’s bite might.

The Consequences of a Small Dog’s Bite

While the bite of a smaller dog is less likely to result in major injuries, the risk of bleeding and infection is still very much present. Their teeth are just as sharp and can easily cut through skin and muscle with very little effort on the dog’s part. Because small dog bites typically look less severe, people assume they are less dangerous and often leave them to heal on their own. They assume that cleaning and dressing the bite is all that is needed, if even that.

However, failure to treat the wound properly allows bacteria to seep in and multiply in places where infection can easily reach the bloodstream and put a dog bite victim at risk of sepsis and death. This is particularly true in the case of puncture wounds that look small on the outside but actually go much deeper beneath the skin and into the muscle.

Regardless of the size of the dog, seek medical attention right away if:

  • The dog was not vaccinated or you can’t determine their vaccination status
  • You were bit on the face, head, or neck
  • Your hands or feet were injured in the attack
  • You cannot stop or slow the bleeding within 10 minutes
  • The bite starts looking worse over time instead of better
  • The wound is hot and red or there are read streaks coming from it
  • The bite victim is a child

Holding Dog Owners Accountable

Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are strict liability states, which means that no matter what kind of dog attacks you or why they bite you, the owner is considered responsible for their dog’s actions 100% of the time. Even if the animal has never bitten before and the owner has no reason to believe their dog would be vicious, they can still be held accountable in a court of law for the damage their pet caused.

To successfully win a dog bite claim, you don’t need to prove that the owner was negligent. Instead, you should focus on illustrating how serious the injury was and what kind of medical care was required for your rehabilitation. Pictures of a small dog bite might not accurately illustrate its severity well, but records of an infection, surgery, or hospitalization can do a better job.

If you win your claim, you could be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Your past and future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy and medications
  • Lost wages from time spent away from work
  • Any property that was damaged during the attack
  • Long-term cosmetic damage, especially to the face
  • Psychological trauma and emotional suffering

When to Contact a Qualified New Hampshire and Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyer

If you were bitten by any size or breed of dog, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You need an experienced attorney who can help you access critical resources for your recovery and zealously advocate for the best possible outcome.

Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC today at (978) 744-8000 or call toll free at (855) 693-9084 to learn more or schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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