Dog bites can lead to years of scar treatment - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Dog bites can lead to years of scar treatment

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Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

"One of my earliest memories is actually of that dog's mouth open right there (in the middle of my face). I can see it in my mind and it came up and got me," said UMMC pediatric plastic surgeon Dr. Ricky Clay.

He's sharing a bad but vivid childhood memory. As an adult, he treats a lot of children in the two to seven age range for the same thing.

"Toddlers grab the tail, grab the ears, chase them around the house because they think it's funny to watch them run and they end up in a situation where they get bitten," said Dr. Clay.

It's not uncommon to see dog bite stories in the news, plenty of them occurring in all ages and in all places on the body. And a lot of times it's just a dog's reaction to a person's action.

"One of the worst bites I've ever seen was a woman who was doing that to her little toy, French poodle," said Dr. Clay. "She kissed it on the nose and it bit the center of her upper lip out."

He says the most important part of treating a dog bite is meticulous cleaning that can be time consuming.

"Once that initial section is over and it heals, then you begin to look at the scar maturation process and that can take as long as a year and a half to two years," added Dr. Clay.

The process can take even longer in children.

"The problem is scars change when they go through puberty," explained Dr. Clay. "Scars enlarge. They grow with the child." 

In those cases Dr. Clay says scar revision can last years.

"My job is to give that child the best high school graduation picture I can give them. And that means sometimes 18 years," added Dr. Clay.

Copyright 2014 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014  MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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