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Many people in California and around the United States own dogs, and although dogs can be loyal companions, they can also pose a risk in the form of biting. There are many reasons that a canine may bite, including becoming scared, protecting their owners or playing.

Here are three of the most common consequences of dog bites in California.

1. Rabies

Rabies is one of the scarier potential consequences of an animal bite since the condition is usually fatal in humans if the infected person does not seek treatment in a timely manner. Early symptoms are generally similar to flu symptoms, and it is best to get checked out right away if a person receives a bite from an unfamiliar dog, especially if its owner is unable to provide proof of a rabies vaccination. With treatment, most people recover from this virus.

2. Scarring

A scar is the result of the skin attempting to heal, and many dog bites will leave some level of scarring depending on the severity of the bite. Over-the-counter creams and ointments can help reduce the appearance of a scar.

3. Emotional trauma

In addition to physical trauma and risk of disease, a dog bite can result in emotional trauma for the bite sufferer. For example, someone may not wish to be around dogs for a while after sustaining a bite, even if the bite was a result of playing.

By being aware of the consequences of dog bites, people can seek the help that they need in the event that they receive a bite.