When treating a dog bite, the priority is always the victim’s physical injuries. Dog bites can cause extensive damage that may lead to permanent scarring. Sometimes, bite wounds require reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately, most dog bite cases involve children, which can create more complexity when it comes to medical treatment.
Even after medical treatment, emotional scars may still be present. A dog bite is a traumatic experience for the victim.
How to identify PTSD in adults
PTSD has four types of symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. These symptoms include avoidance, intrusive memories, physical and emotional reactions and negative mood or thought changes. For those who experience these symptoms and disturbances for over a month may have PTSD.
PTSD can include avoidance of places and activities that remind the victim of the event. Some may also avoid any talk of the event. Intrusive memories are distressing memories, flashbacks, nightmares or a severe reaction to a reminder of the dog bite.
Those who suffer from PTSD may have negative thoughts, memory problems and may find it difficult to maintain close relationships. They may have a heightened startle response, be on guard always or have difficulty sleeping.
How to identify PTSD in children
Like adults, children may be easy to startle or have difficulty sleeping. Children who are normally kind and gentle may turn aggressive and have angry outbursts without warning. For those under the age of six, they may have nightmares. These dreams can be terrifying and may or may not involve the attack. Also, children may begin to reenact the trauma through play.