There is a great deal of debate over the most dangerous types of dogs – and even what constitutes a dangerous dog. According to dog bite injury data collected by DogsBite.org, certain dog breeds consistently outnumber others in terms of serious and fatal injuries inflicted on dog bite injury victims in the U.S. Their most recent study reported the following percentages of fatal attacks by dog breed from 2005 to 2017:
- Pit bull: 65.6 percent
- Rottweiler: 10.4 percent
- German Shepherd: 4.6 percent
- Mixed breed: 3.9 percent
- American bulldog: 3.5 percent
- Mastiff/Bullmastiff: 3.2 percent
- Husky: 3 percent
Based on this data, the most dangerous type of dog is a pit bull when looking at the propensity to inflict critical and fatal injuries on an attack victim. However, even dogs that are smaller in size or have a reputation as a gentle breed can snap and cause serious injuries – especially when children or the elderly are involved. In West Virginia, any type of dog can be designated as “dangerous” if it is known to be vicious, violent, or likely to bite or attack someone. Owning a dangerous dog comes with special requirements, such as muzzling the dog in public.
Dog Bite Diseases
One issue that is unique to dog bite injury cases within the broader scope of personal injury law is the possibility of contracting a disease from the bite. Dogs are carriers of many diseases that can transfer to humans when they bite and break the skin. These diseases can cause severe symptoms and even death.
Common examples of dog bite diseases include:
- Staph infections
A dog bite disease could cause symptoms such as fever, headache, soreness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, disorientation, hallucinations and many others. The correct course of treatment for a dog bite disease will depend on the nature of the illness. The victim may require multiple rounds of shots, IV fluids, antibiotics, prescription drugs, physical rehabilitation or an extended hospital stay. If you or a loved one contracted a disease or infection from a dog bite in West Virginia, it is important to consult with an animal attack lawyer.