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Our dog has bitten our son on the face, am devastated

(51 Posts)
Bobothebuilder Thu 14-Mar-13 21:56:19

No flaming please as it is impossible for anyone to hate me as much as me right now.

This evening our family dog (known to be a placid easy going breed, not a 'danger dog') bit our two year old on the face. We have been to hospital where
he has been treated. He will be scarred for life sad

Our guard dropped for literally one minute, I though P had popped dog out into her 'area' and he thought I had. Tis is how we keep things safe during busy times when we. Might not be supervising both children at every moment.

Heard a scream, little man came out crying and oh my fucking god the dog has bitten hm on his cheek, leaving three wounds. Not bad enought I need sticking but they will scar, the reminder will be with him for life.

I am in such a bad way, almost collapsed when I saw him, the guilt and anxiety is overwhelming. He has been accident prone and already has a few little scars, am hating myself to such an extent now, he has to bear these scars forever, all due to our mistake. And the dog who was I being a dog either has t be. Rehomed or destroyed.

Has anyone been through this. Any kind or helpful word would. E massively apprieciated.

Bobo

silverstaresatnight Thu 14-Mar-13 22:00:42

All accidents are horrid and you weren't to know this would happen . Scars do heal. My dd was bitten by her grandparents dog when she was four, on her arm, there is no mark now she is 16.
He is safe try not to worry.

tollyandfeste Thu 14-Mar-13 22:01:41

Oh poor you, poor DC and poor poor dog. I am living in constant fear of this happening. My beloved dog hates our 6 month old baby and won't let her touch him ( which we respect and so make sure he has a safe place and keep her away) but its going to get harder when she is more mobile. I know I could rehome him but I keep thinking 'he was here first'.... Sorry I haven't got any words of advice. But I sympathise, I really do. How utterly heartbreaking for all. hope DC mends quickly xxxx

CabbageLeaves Thu 14-Mar-13 22:06:10

Bobo. Don't beat yourself up. Dogs are a lovely thing in many families. They were a huge part of my happy childhood. Sounds like you took appropriate precautions. (I never took any)

MonaLotte Thu 14-Mar-13 22:08:39

That must have been horrible and very frightening. I was bitten in the face by our family dog when I was four. I was holding a biscuit out then pulling it away so it would jump up and it missed the biscuit and bit my lip. You don't see the scar now.

Can i just add, i was bitten on the neck by a dog when i was around 2 - i neither remember it or bare any scars from it - my mother was totally and completely devastated and still to this day (23 years on) blames herself

I really hope all involved are ok x

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 14-Mar-13 22:10:29

Oh bobo I'm gutted for you. Hope it all gets sorted for the best.

CheddarGorgeous Thu 14-Mar-13 22:13:16

Don't assume he will be scarred for life. My DH had a terrible accident at 5 (literally half his face was ripped off) and has hardly any scars on his face now. Nor does he particularly remember it.

You sound like you are still in shock, look after yourself.

Bobothebuilder Thu 14-Mar-13 22:16:29

Thank you all for your kind kind words.

I am an anxious person and existing a state of hyper vigilance anyhow, Fr this to have happened is just inconceivable as we are genuinely so careful, it was just a mistake, a momentary lapse and here we find ourselves.....

Am afraid these scars won't fade as little man picks at any scabs/dressings. I would have prefers if they had sutured him but apparently they don't unless the bite is really severe due to risk of infection.

Just utterly gutted, my older son is utterly devastated as he knows we won't keep her now (to be honest my nerves just can't manage the worry apavfrom the actual risk)

Going toy to find a nice child free home for her.

Xxxxx

Baiji Thu 14-Mar-13 22:22:11

grown up DS was bitten on the face twice by different neighbours dogs as a child (he was a dog botherer) there is no trace of a mark now.

DD 5 has been bitten by our own dog, a moment of non-supervision, she had food which was the problem, the dog went for the food and got her, needed a plaster (dog still here, but never in the room when she has food now).

If the cuts were so minor that they didn't need stitching I doubt they can say for sure that they will scar. I can think of quite a few very nasty cuts and gashes that DS got over the years, they fade away as they grow.

ScottyDoc Thu 14-Mar-13 22:28:20

I think you and your dh sound like decent and responsible dog owners and that this was unfortunately a very nasty accident that happened. Dogs, no matter their breed, temperament or normal behaviour, can snap at any time. You know this better than anyone, and it wasnt your fault.

I have views (personal experience as a small child and as a pre teen) that dogs shouldn't be kept around children at all, just for safety. The amount of times people keep dogs in the family, defend them unquestioningly and then a baby or toddler gets mauled or bitten. Why take the risk? I will never ever understand it. People may flame me for these views but inevitably this year yet again there will be another tragic news story about a child victim of a dog attack. Those are the facts.

I don't think you should get another dog OP, perhaps get your little man a different pet such as a rabbit, guinea pig, lizard etc. I'm sorry this happened and I wish you and your ds a speedy recovery xxx

Bobothebuilder Thu 14-Mar-13 22:32:35

Scott's I actually agree with you. Our dog was originally DP's dog ' he got her about six months before meeting me when we we both young free and single, not anticipating any children ever really. I have always been nervous about having her around he kys even though as I said she had always been a good dog. We think that tonight what happened was little man found a few crisps on the floor (bad mother alert again), he reached to get them and then our dog also went to get em and tried to warn little man off, as dogs do. If she had meant him real harm the damage would have been far worse.

But still I do not feel we can keep her.my mental health is not great as it is, without I'd constant worry.

Trazzletoes Thu 14-Mar-13 22:37:00

Bobo please don't blame yourself. You had precautions in place and believed they were being used. Show me one parent who hasn't had a momentary lapse of concentration when caring for their child. Or show me a child that has never had an accident.

It was an accident. You cannot beat yourself up for that.

I also was bitten by a dog as a teenager - went through the skin etc etc. it hasn't scarred. Is there any way you can distract your DS to stop him picking at the scabs?

rubyrubyruby Thu 14-Mar-13 22:37:38

I have no advice but really feel for you.

All I will say is that I very much doubt he will have permanent scarring. My friends DS needed many stitches in his face from a dog bite and now, 3 years on, you really wouldn't know.

catlady1 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:40:14

I don't have a dog but I would if I had the space for one, and this is one of my worst fears. You can usually see why a dog would feel scared or threatened and react aggressively, so it's not as if you can totally blame the dog, but at the same time you have to protect your children. I would be on edge too.

I don't normally agree with casually passing animals around but in this case I definitely think rehoming is for the best, for your own sake, your children and the dog.

lagoonhaze Thu 14-Mar-13 22:40:52

Im not a dog lover (bitten as a child too) but I wanted to say your thread has touched me. What a difficult time for all concerned. Please dont do the bad mummy guilt. You dont deserve it.

ScottyDoc Thu 14-Mar-13 22:43:12

I think you've been through a hell of a lot and you just have to remember it was an unfortunate accident, nothing to do with you at all. Best thing, as hard as it is, is to re home her. The dog doesn't have much experience with kids in close proximity and you can't risk the same thing happening again.

Dogs are lovely and amazing animals but just shouldn't be kept around kids, period. It's a choice that people have to make. My neighbours dogs appeared to be very protective of their little girl and her playmate until one day the dog went for her face. They never particularly took it seriously and I remember another dog of theirs that bit me for no apparent reason. The sooner humans stop kidding themselves dogs are human too will be the day when dog attacks decrease dramatically. I know of family dogs that have seemed absolutely fine for however many years, and have then turned on someone in the house for whatever reason. Never worth the risk.

Bobo, sorry that you and your DS are going through this.

But - he is 2; he has 2 year old skin: the marks will heal and they will fade.

A dog, particularly your own pet, biting your child is a horrible and frightening event, but do not blow it out of all proportion.
I'd try to find out a bit more about how it happened: did your DS get into the dog's space/interfere with his food/accidently hurt the dog??

FWIW, I was bitten by my parents dog (he was there before I was) when I was 3. I had accidently stepped on his tail and he whipped round and bit me (my cheek was snout-height at the time) before he realised who it was. I still remember how absolutely mortified he was: tail between hindlegs, crawling on stomach, whining; it's one of my earliest childhood memories. I had 17 stitches, none of them visible now. I then had a traffic accident when I was 13 and injured my face again - those scars are visible, not the old ones.
Gawd, I sound like a right oil painting, don't I grin?

I hope he is ok, and you too. Let the fright settle down before you make any drastic decisions.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 14-Mar-13 22:48:37

The amount of times people keep dogs in the family, defend them unquestioningly and then a baby or toddler gets mauled or bitten. Why take the risk? I will never ever understand it. People may flame me for these views but inevitably this year yet again there will be another tragic news story about a child victim of a dog attack. Those are the facts.

Well, not really. Millions have people have dogs. Do millions of people get attacked by dogs? No, they don't. I think we'd have heard.

I don't think I actually know anyone that's been attacked by their dog. It really is a very rare occurrence. In fact it's so rare that when it does happen it tends to make the local papers. Which is where people get the idea that its a common occurrence. Because they read it in the paper. If dogs were that dangerous they wouldn't be the nations favourite pet and be owned by millions of people. Please don't beat yourself up about it op. I'm sorry it happened to you and I'm glad your little ds is ok, and you just have to learn from this. If your dog is not normally aggressive it just have just been a one off. At least you can keep an even closer eye on them now.

ScottyDoc Thu 14-Mar-13 23:01:00

ilovemydog you keep kidding yourself that dog attacks are a 'rare' occurrence. hmm This attitude, one that some entitled gullible dog owners have, is a contributing factor to problems with dogs.

I myself, and many people I know, have been attacked or bitten by dogs. Those are the cold hard facts. Not some over exaggerated newspaper articles. Real life. I'm not going to waste my breath arguing with you or any other blinded owners though, because my choices are not to have my children near an animal that can maim or kill them, and that works for me. You make your own choices, because you will have to live with them, not me.

"Going toy to find a nice child free home for her."

Should she not be destroyed?

What if she mauls other children in the park?

Why would anyone call for the dog to be destroyed? confused

No one saw what happened - it could be exactly what happened to PacificDogwood, kid could have stepped on dogs tail, dog snaps round as a reflex and catches kids face.

You'd really put a loved family pet down for a reflex?

rubyrubyruby Thu 14-Mar-13 23:09:25

Believe me, if that dog had attacked and meant to bite, stitches would have been required.

LovingWINE Thu 14-Mar-13 23:10:39

So sorry to hear of your situation. I have a dog, but my children are teens and so it's not such an issue. I'd be devastated if I had to make a decision, but ultimately I think if your dog were re homed to somewhere really nice you could all move on from this situation. To protect your children from harm or fear, but also to allow your dog the life it deserves would be best for all concerned. Such a sad situation.

I don't think any of us can decide whether the dog should be rehomed/destroyed/retrained or whatever. Dogs ARE v rarely aggressive to their families unless there is some kind of provocation, and toddlers are often not very good at being considerate to a dog or reading their signals before it all goes wrong.

Personally, I am desperate to have a dog, but will not consider it until DS4 is less insane around school age and therefore trainable grin.

Bobo, I am sure you'll make the right decision for your family. Don't make a kneejerk decision that you cannot undo though, so there are no future regrets.

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