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News presenter: Welcome back to WBRZ news 2 at 4:00. Dr. Stephens is back with us, welcome Dr. Stephens.
Anthony Stephens: Glad to be here.
News presenter: Yeah so we’re talking about dog bites today.
Anthony Stephens: Dog bites, yeah. Big problem, you know and Britney we see this especially in the summertime probably one of the most common injuries were called in the emergency room for or dog bite injuries to children and I don’t know if you realize but you know almost half the kids by the time they’re 12, will experience the dog bite, so it’s a huge issue especially that we see as Plastic Surgeons trying to reconstruct these problems, anywhere from small scratches to problems that we have difficulty reconstructing and they’re usually on the face and because it’s usually the household dog I mean it’s the common dog.
News presenter: Yeah, the dog that’s around all the time
Anthony Stephens: Right, exactly and because we have small kids we have some pictures here that are slightly graphic but most of the time the kids are playing with the dogs and dogs defend themselves and they play with other dogs by dominating and usually they’ll bite in the face of other dogs and the same thing with small children is it they’re at their level and so..
News presenter: That’s right.
Anthony Stephens: Exactly, and so a lot of these injuries are to the face most of them the neck or the face and they can range from anything from a scratch to major injuries which can lead a problem for a lifetime for some of these kids.
News presenter: So how do you, how do you take care of this?
Anthony Stephens: Well I think education is the number one thing, we need to warn people to educate their dogs train them and socialize the animals and be ever so vigilant when children are around with the dog, don’t let them play especially get in their faces with these animals. I’m always scared when I see that my dog who I know want, you know potentially won’t bite but you got to realize every dog has a potential to bite they all have teeth and they defend themselves and that’s the way that they play and so the best thing to do is keep kids away from dogs especially in their face and train the dog it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the owner’s fault.
News presenter: Yeah, now I’ll never forget I’ve been bitten a couple times.
Anthony Stephens: Yeah, I mean I think we all had experienced.
News presenter: It’s scary; you never forget it and I can only imagine what it’s like for a little child.
Anthony Stephens: For a little and you know some of these problems we cannot fix and there are lifelong injuries and so I can’t tell you how many times we’re called at the emergency room with the same old mantra you know, my dog , my household pet has bitten my little girl and my dog never bites. Well the truth of the matter is every dog has the potential to cause an injury to a child and I think that’s the message that we need to get across to those people.
News presenter: What about scarring, after the fact.
Anthony Stephens: well, scarring after the fact, once you have a scar there are a few things that we can do to minimize that depending on if it’s a physical problem like it pulls the eyelid down for example that’s something that we’ll have to revise but most scars are there for a lifetime, that’s the way that we heal, there are a few things that we can do but for the most part once you have a dog bite because it’s a crush injury rather than a clean cut with a scalpel, those type of injuries will stay there for a lifetime.
News presenter: Wow.
Anthony Stephens: yeah, it can be a serious problem as opposed to other bites I mean we see cat bites all the time which are usually puncture wounds, dog bites are usually crushing injuries and more tearing of the tissues and so they will leave more injuries to bone you know cartilage that we have in the nose and that sort of thing and so we see a lot of this especially during the summer months when the kids are out of school.
News presenter: Alright Dr. Stephens thanks so much for coming in.
Anthony Stephens: Sure.
News presenter: Talking to us today you’re watching WBRZ news 2 at 4:00, we’ll be right back.