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Friend's child bitten on face by their dog - mothers reaction worries me

11 replies

namechangerbat · 12/12/2011 21:50

"friend" has two small kids. Saw them out today. Oldest has picture wounds to each side of his nose on his cheeks, bruising and scratches (he's just 3).

I said OH MY GOD what happened. The mother laughed and explained that he had gone into his bedroom and jumped on his bed which woke the dog up that was sleeping on his bedroom floor and dog had bitten him.

I made some concerned faces and asked wha would happen to the dog now, whispered was it being PTS etc, she replied no and that DC "would learn" not to "wind the dog up"

I was aghast. Have told Dp and he thinks I should phone some one, but we don't know who.

OP posts:
namechangerbat · 12/12/2011 21:50


OP posts:
HarrietJones · 12/12/2011 22:07

Has he seen GP/dr/HV? Do they still do tetanus for bites?

They would report to children's services. I've seen referrals like that.

LoopyLoopsWoopDeWoops · 12/12/2011 22:09

I would expect her to have taken him to the GP, surely? I don't think talking about destroying the dog is in any way helpful, but an eye does need to be kept on the situation.

EatMeDates · 12/12/2011 22:11

Loopy people who put a mutt before their own child. No advice I'm afraid, but would be worried, too.

LemonDifficult · 12/12/2011 22:13

Do you have any mutual friends? I think you maybe need to see if this is the full picture.

I wouldn't generally advocate gossiping but I think it might be worth taking the opinion of someone else who knows this family before ring up SS.

NotJustForClassic · 12/12/2011 22:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ohbugrit · 12/12/2011 22:23

Sounds like a) she isn't taking it seriously enough (tetanus is a minor consideration vs the infection risk, the child may require antibiotics), b) we don't know enough about the situation.

Did the child hurt the dog, thereby making it an understandable reaction? Does the dog just need to be given somewhere other than a child's bedroom floor to retreat to? Is this child allowed to annoy the dog, or invade its space routinely? Are other factors at play here, causing the dog to be stressed and at increased risk of biting? Has this dog been trying to get across the message that it's fed up but it isn't being noticed or acted upon appropriately?

Way too many ifs and buts to call this one. All that is certain is that the mum needs to take action, more than she has (as far as you know, OP).

washngo · 12/12/2011 22:24

I think her reaction is really worrying as it doesn't sound like she was very concerned, but it does remind me of something that happened to my little brother. When he was 5 he took the toy my dog was playing with and in her attempt to get it back she made 3 small puncture wounds in his cheek. Lots of blood, looked awful but when cleaned up was just 3 little holes. After a LOT of crying by every family member we took the dog to the vet to hear what he thought we should do. He told us that if the dog had been trying to bite my brother then the wounds would have been v different and much worse. He said wasost likely just a misplaced snarl and she caught him. Dog still alive today but my mum is VERY careful with her, and never ever leaves her alone with any small children. So that the dog is still alive is perhaps no so worrying as the mothers lack of care about it.

andaPontyinaPearTreeeeee · 12/12/2011 22:26


My DSDs' neighbour was killed by her uncle's dog earlier this year. She was 18 months old. :( How can anyone not take dog attacks like in the OP seriously when it could so easily have been worse. To laugh it off... Hope it was just 'nervous laughter'

namechangerbat · 12/12/2011 22:27

I know that the child wasn't seen by a doctor.

Mother cleaned him up with a flannel and she had said that the swellin had all gone by the morning and now the bruising was coming out there is nothing to worry about

I've Spent lots of time at their house. The child's room is next to the living room so dogs often go from one from to other to get away from bouncy 3yr old

I also know that they are not walked often (once a week maybe) as she can't handle both dogs and both kids out at once.

OP posts:
ohbugrit · 12/12/2011 22:35

While I don't for a second debate that the mother's reaction here seems inappropriate, it would probably be most sensible to avoid using language such as "attack" to refer to this event. Dogs which attack don't leave a couple of minor punctures. From the further info given by the OP my bet is on an understimulated, stressed dog acting in rash self-defence when threatened by a lumbering scary 3 year old. Yes, action is needed badly here, but this dog (from the info supplied so far) does not need to be destroyed.

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