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Case #102

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Dog Bite Victim With Nose Injury

This incident occurred on July 31st, 2023, when this 7-year-old, was playing in her grandmother’s driveway. The day of the incident, the girl and the defendant’s child/grandchild were making “snail houses” together.  He went back to the house owned by the Defendants. The girl states that she later knocked the Defendant’s door to see if Levi could play again.  Levi came outside and joined the young girl on the driveway.  Unfortunately, the defendants failed to restrain their Australian Shepherd, “Boomer,” which then ran outside and attacked our client in the defendant’s driveway of their house located in Boonville, MO.  The Boonville Police Department Officer issued the defendant, a viscous animal citation, Ticket # 200772034.


During the attack, Boomer bit the girl on the back of her knee and nose, causing bleeding and injury which required multiple facial stitches to repair.  As a result of the attack, my client was transported from the scene to University Hospital’s Emergency Department for her injuries.  Pursuant to RSMo §237.036, the owner of any dog that bites any person, without provocation, while such person is lawfully on public or private property, is strictly liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s or possessor’s knowledge of such viciousness.  Therefore, the defendants are assumed responsible for their dog’s actions.


Below is a synopsis of the treatment she received:


07/31/23:                  Patient, a 7-year-old female, arrives at University Hospital seen by Dr. Groh, Dr. Huan, and Dr. Wilson for a dog bite to the nose. She reports a neighbor’s dog ran out and bit her on the nose and posterior knee, causing wintergreen bruising and laceration. The patient is diagnosed with a 1 cm nasal laceration through to the internal mucosa and hematoma. The wound splits open with a large V-shaped cut revealing the child’s internal alae cartilage. Patient is assessed with nasal laceration involving the alar edge and impacting alar cartilage. Additionally, the patient’s right knee has sustained lacerations and abrasions. Physical Exam notes by Dr. Groh state the patient becomes tearful, fearful, and distressed upon any mention of stitches. He recommends the family obtain cosmetic repair as the patient may benefit from sedation and the specialist’s approach and experience may better address the “delicate and very prominent structure on this young child’s face.” Patient’s wound is flushed, and sterile gauze is applied. The surgical team is consulted and given that the dog bite crossed the margin of the nare, closure with suture is recommended to ideally prevent the development of a ‘notch’ at that location. A nasal laceration repair is performed by Dr. Chumble and Dr. Nguyen:


                                Patient is placed under ketamine sedation and a dorsal nasal, columellar, and infraorbital nerve block are performed. The laceration is irrigated with 800cc sterile saline with betadine. The margin of the ala is approached and reapproximated using a mattress suture to achieve eversion. The rest of the laceration is closed with interrupted sutures using 5-0 fast gut. The patient’s face is cleaned and bacitracin ointment is applied to the laceration post-operatively.


                                The patient endures the procedure without complication. However, it is discussed that regardless of suturing, a notch might still occur in that location which may require revision in the future. The patient is discharged.




08/07/23:                  Patient returns to University Hospital Plastic Surgery Clinic seen by Dr. Wilson and Dr. Allen for a week status follow-up on her nasal procedure. Patient has been keeping the wound area moist with bacitracin ointment. Band-aids have been kept on the surgical site overnight to make sure the patient does not scratch the area as it has been itching. Physical Exam reveals that there is scabbing and fibrinous debris around the laceration, and that the skin around the area is hyperemic. Patient is instructed to not submerge the site of injury for at least 2 weeks after repair, keeping the area protected from the sun for a full year at least after injury. It is discussed that there is a high incidence of hypertonic scarring after traumatic injuries in this location. Likely scar revision surgery is offered one year post-injury. If ‘unsightly’ scarring develops the patient is instructed to return in 6-12 months.


Victim Damages



Health Care Expenses……………………………………………………….. $3,590.00

Future Health Care Expenses……………………………………………… $7,983.00

Total Economic Damages……………………………………………….. $11,573.00

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