Dog bites can be extremely serious and in rare cases fatal: A coroner’s inquest has heard how a retired man from Hampshire died after being accidentally bitten by his Springer Spaniel during a game of tug-of-war.
The dog bites we deal with rarely lead to the victim dying. However, the injuries caused by dog bites can be extremely serious, and as this case illustrates, they can lead to the victim’s death.
A man was playing an innocent game of tug with his beloved dog, when the dog accidentally bit him.
Although the wound was immediately treated, the man became unwell the following day.
He was subsequently admitted to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, but doctors were unable to save him and he tragically died three days later. The cause of death was given as multi-organ failure resulting from septicaemia.
The pathologist explained that the wound became infected by the dog’s saliva, with harmful bacteria entering the victim’s bloodstream. The Coroner therefore returned a verdict of accidental death.
Solicitor James McNally, who deals with legal cases on behalf of victims of dog bites, commented:
“The incident was clearly an unusual one, and it appears the man’s age may have made him more susceptible to infection. Nevertheless this tragic story underlines how dangerous dog bites can be for humans and how careful we all need to be when we are around dogs.
“People assume that the consequences of dog bites are limited to scarring and the psychological effects, but that’s not so.
“I am currently representing one dog bite victim who has developed IBS as a result of the injuries he suffered in a relatively minor dog attack, and we are investigating another dog bite incident which is believed to have led to the victim’s death. So whilst tragic and unusual, this unfortunate case is not an isolated one.”