Dog attacks are some of the more frightening and painful experiences a person can go through. In the roughly 4.5 million dog bites that occur each year, around 800,000 victims require medical attention. Going to the emergency room or your primary doctor’s office may only be the first step, unfortunately.
Recovering from a dog bite may require the assistance of a many different professionals. Here are four specialists you may need to see after a dog attack.
1. A plastic surgeon
If a dog bites you on your face, you may develop unsightly scarring when the wounds heal. This is especially true if you need stitches or surgery to repair facial damage from the attack. Consulting with a plastic surgeon may help you restore your pre-attack appearance.
2. An ear, nose and throat specialist
Because they stick out from your body, your nose and ears may be particularly vulnerable to injury during a dog attack. Damage to the soft tissues in your nose and outer ear may interfere with your ability to smell and hear. An otolaryngologist, also called an ear, nose and throat specialist, may help you regain these senses.
3. A psychologist
Dog attacks are inherently stressful events. In the aftermath of one, you may experience fear, sadness, anger or depression. You may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. A psychologist, psychiatrist or another mental health professional may help you cope with emotional trauma.
4. A physical therapist
If a dog attack leaves you with muscle or nerve damage, you may have difficulty performing both everyday tasks and your job duties. A physical therapist may help you recover movement or learn coping strategies.
Remember, while the services of a physical therapist and other specialists may be expensive, they may also offer you the best chance of recovering completely.