A 4-year-old from Dong Nai Province wears long stitches after he was attacked by the family's German shepherd dog
A Ho Chi Minh City hospital has treated a four-year-old who was mauled by his family's German shepherd.
The boy was admitted March 29 with multiple injuries on his face and head, including one measuring 10 centimeters from nose to right ear and another stretching seven cm on his left cheek, which doctors considered critical.
Dr. Le Phuoc Tan, deputy head of the injuries and orthopedics department at the Children’s Hospital No.2, said the family told him that the boy had been attacked by an animal weighing more than 30 kilograms.
It had been chained in the front yard and attacked the boy when he walked by.
Tan said the boy was lucky to survive and would permanently carry marks of it.
“Injuries from dog bites are very hard completely heal and will not look nice even with plastic surgery,” he said.
The hospital admits five to ten children attacked by dogs every year, and many more are treated as outpatients with less severe bites, he said.
Doctors said dog and cat bites should first be cleaned with soap, 0.9 percent salt solution, alcohol, or iodine solution for at least five minutes to prevent viral infections before the patient is taken for treatment.
In Vietnam, 300,000 people were attacked by rabid dogs in 2013, and 99 of them died.
Figures from the Pasteur Institute in HCMC show that more than 96 percent of human rabies cases are caused by pet dogs and 3.6 percent by cats.
Most of the victims of dog attacks and rabies are children aged below 15, who tend to hang out with pets.
Dr.Nguyen Ngoc Anh Tuan of the institute said a number of children are brought in with mauled faces or skin torn off the head due to attacks by pet dogs.
Local dog breeders said it has become a trend now to own fierce, powerful dogs like rottweilers, pit bulls, and other bullies, and there are many websites for trading them.
Nguyen Van Lang, a dog breeder in HCMC, said people want to have an exotic pet and also protection.
“Two bully dogs can equal a tiger as they are very strong and have teeth that do not let go once they bite something.”
Some breeders said rottweilers have the strongest protective instinct toward their owners, but need to be trained professionally and patiently or else would will become a danger.
Phan Xuan Thao, deputy director of the city Animal Health Agency, said local animal health officials need to be informed about
pets raised at home.
His department does not have the power to stop the import and online trade of fierce dog breeds, and the Department of Industry and Trade needs to step in, he added.
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