There are many different types of dog bites, from small scratches to those that break the skin. However, even smaller bites can produce bodily injuries with severe long-term effects such as scarring and infection.
Dog bites may result in one or more of the following common injuries:


Abrasions (also known as scrapes) are skin wounds that rub or tear off skin. Most abrasions are shallow, but some may remove several layers of skin. Usually there is little bleeding from an abrasion, however injury to the head or face often produces more blood loss.


Lacerations are jagged wounds caused by blunt objects that tear or crush the skin. These cuts are more common over bony areas, but they can occur anywhere on the body. Blunt object injuries usually cause more swelling and tissue damage, so the healing process can be more complicated.


A puncture wound is a narrow, deep injury caused by a sharp-tipped object that penetrates the skin. Generally, it can increase the risk for infection because they are difficult to clean and provide a moist place for bacteria to grow.

Fractured Bones

A fracture (commonly referred to as a broken bone) occurs when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself.

The main categories of fractures include:

Complete- the bone snaps into two or more parts
Incomplete- the bone cracks but does not break all the way through
Simple- the bone breaks but there is no open wound in the skin
Compound- the bone breaks through the skin

Sprain Injuries

A sprain occurs from the stretching or tearing of ligaments (the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones to one another at a joint.) A severe sprain can leave the ligaments so stretched that the joint is vulnerable to future injury.


A scar is a biological process of wound repair that forms when a thick layer of skin is damaged. After an injury, the body creates a scar when new collagen fibers are formed to mend the damage. Although scars cannot be completely removed, their appearance can be improved upon by treatments such as surgery or dermabrasion.