Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,985
Registered: ‎07-20-2014

@Foxxee wrote:

I try to remember why dogs bite.  It's the only way they have to protect themselves and their owners.  Is it a protective breed?  


Was this the first time your friend was at this house with the dog?  Does she like dogs?  How old is the dog?  What are the circumstances around the other two bites and her bite? 


No, I wouldn't report it.  I wouldn't want to cause the death of a friend's dog unless it was vicious and unable to be rehabilitated.  


I'd see a doctor for treatment if the bite is that bad, but the doctor doesn't need to know anything about the bite.  


As for grandchildren...they should learn to respect dogs.  Dogs will only put up with so much. Maybe, the dog isn't good with kids and shouldn't be in their presence.  


This dog might need additional training, kept away from strangers, people they don't know well, and kids. 






It's nice to want to protect a dog, but there are consequences to ignoring the problem.  This happened to a friend of mine from work, and she has never reentered the world since it happend to her. 


She went over to another coworker's house after work, and when the other friend answered the door her big dog lunged at my friend, and to be blunt, pretty much bit her face off.  Years of reconstructive surgery for her.  Her lips had to be reconstructed with skin from another body part.  I talked to her husband several times, but she never recovered emotionally.  


So I'd say, after three bites, it's very important someone outside the situation is aware before the biting takes an extreme turn, and it can happen in the blink of an eye.



Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,328
Registered: ‎08-31-2019

Bottom line, the bite victim needed prompt wound cleaning, a tetanus shot and likely a round of prophylactic antibiotics for a good 7-10 days. Wounds are not sutured unless absolutely necessary, since they don't want to entrap any bacteria, which can create a super infection.


I've seen such bad infections that people wind up in hyperbaric chambers, trying to save tissue and limbs, from dog bites. Even small dog bites can deliver some bad pathogens. 


She also needed to know if the dog was vaccinated against rabies, although it's unlikely the dog was rabid, since it appears to be a poorly trained, serial biter. 


I went through this very thing, with a neighbor's dog. I immediately called animal control. They, in turn, called the local police. All arrived and the dog was taken into quarantine, since the owner had no shot record. I reassured them I was heading for treatment. The Urgent Care folks just asked me if it was reported. I told them the circumstances and they were happy with the plans. No other questions asked.


The dog was returned to the owners after several days, after asking me how I felt about it. I felt the circumstances of the bite (long story) did not warrant severe penalties. But, I did insist that they take care of their animals and immunize them as required by our dang law. The neighbors were miffed, even though I was nice about it, but got over it in time. Frankly, I didn't care how they felt.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 23,461
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Your friend is an idiot, there's nothing you can do to help her with that problem. If she wants to risk her own health out of fear of losing friends who don't care about her, that's on her.  Obviously, since there have been prior biting incidents, they are worried about animal control.  Your friend can see a doctor without reporting the dog bite.  The doctor might advise her to do that but his only concern will be in treating her.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

There shouldn't be any questions on what everyone involved should do.  They all need to do the right thing.  If this dog has bitten others before then it clearly has a temperment problem.  Heaven forbid if that dog gets loose outside and bites a small, innocent child.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,371
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

If the OP's friend was bit "badly", then she needs to get medical attention, no matter what. Her so-called friend who invited her for dinner, really isn't much of a friend if she values the dog over a human being.


I would be so angry if a friend of mine reacted with such callousness to her dog biting me. I don't think it's just the law in California - most states have similar laws. The dog may be put in quarantine if there is no proof of vaccinations. Why are they all trying to protect a dog that bites people?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,691
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

@Vivian Florimond wrote:

I have a dear friend who lives on the other side of the country. For forty years we have remained very close, visiting occasionally but staying in touch every day. Last night she called with what she said was a dilemma. Here it is:


She has a close friend who lives in her town. They hike together, go out together (my friend is divorced and her friend is a widow), and have turned to each other for help. Two nights ago, my friend went to a family dinner at her friend's home. Kids, grandkids, and granddog attended. The dog bit my friend on the leg...badly. She sent me a photo of the wound. The friend's family talked her out of seeing a doctor. The grandkids spilled the beans and told my friend the dog bit two other people in the past.


My friend called me to ask what to do. I said "See a doctor right away." She replied that she will lose her friend because California law requires that doctors must report dog bites. She fears that her bite will put the dog down. I said that this dog is a danger, especially to the grandchildren, who are little. My friend takes a biologic, which increases her susceptibility to infection. I don't think this is a dilemma at all. Opinions are welcome.



@Vivian Florimond @Your friend's life could depend on her seeing a doctor immediately. You might have to fib to her to get around her. I hate telling you to do this but you could say you felt feverish and worried about an infection. Your other choice is to refuse to give any information about the dog when you get treated, but they will want to see evidence of rabies vaccination or they will want to treat you for this. I don't think they would put a dog down if there is no other report on record of a bite. Whatever you choose to do, I think you should see a doctor for a dog bite immediately. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,691
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

@desertDi wrote:

Your friend could say a STRAY dog bit her.........

@desertDi @Then the doctor will need to treat her for rabies. Not good. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,208
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

I was bit and scratched by a stray cat and the doctor never questioned me. They gave me a tetnus shot and put me on antibiotics.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,964
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

@Vivian Florimond :  Any updates?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,249
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: My Friend’s Dilemma

[ Edited ]

I texted my reply. I am afraid that she didn't go to a doctor and didn't want to deal with my nagging her to reconsider. Her friend (the grandmother of the biting dog) tried to minimize the attack. I don't want to sound like a bitter pill but as a friend, I would never put a biting dog's welfare against my human friend's health.


P.S. I just got an email from my friend. She did NOT mention the dog bite. I'm convinced  she decided not to seek medical attention and is too embarrassed to tell me. I'm a bit miffed because she called me about this quite late, kept me on the phone for an hour discussing her quandry while I was trying to deal with my husband who has Alzheimer's. I wrote back simply asking how her leg was doing.