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D2009-30

Dear Daisy Dog

My husband and I plan to take our children to visit my sister and her family this summer. Their dog has bitten two neighborhood children, and although my sister says he’s fine with family, I’m concerned for my children’s safety. What’s your advice?

Daisy Responds

I, too, would be concerned, because dogs that have bitten are more likely to bite again.

Children are the usual victims, with boys bitten more frequently than girls. Typically, bites occur in the home or yard to youngsters who know the dogs.

Children are usually bitten on the face, scalp and neck. Their injuries are often disfiguring and complex, involving the eyes, brain and bones of the face. Multiple surgical procedures, including skin grafts and ear reconstruction, are generally required.

My advice? Supervise your children whenever they interact with any dog, even a friendly one.

Remind your sister of her legal vulnerability and recommend she consult a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.

Finally, suggest that she have her dog neutered, if he isn’t already, because sterilization decreases a dog’s propensity to bite.

 

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