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When Dogs Attack Kids, Eyes Are Often the Target, Researcher Says

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- At the American Academy of Opthamology's annual meeting in Chicago, which concluded Tuesday, a researcher claimed that when children suffer injury from dog bites, eyes are most often the target leading to complicated treatment and multiple surgeries, reports MedPage Today.

Dr. Henry Chen of the University of Colorado in Denver said that "half of kids treated for eye injuries associated with dog attacks required surgery, and 18 percent of these surgical patients had to return for additional procedures."

After studying the records of 537 pediatric patients treated for facial dog bites at The Children's Hospital in Denver from 2003 to 2008, Chen and his colleagues reported that eyelids were damaged in all the children with eye injuries, but that children rarely suffered corneal damage or fracture in the bones around the eye, according to MedPage.

Chen also noted that mixed breeds were the most common attackers, followed by Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

According to the analysis of the same group of patient records, the mean age of children with eye injuries was 3.9, which proved to be significantly younger than attack patients without eye injury.

Dr. Chen lastly emphasized the importance of early attention given to these types of injuries to "allow for definitive treatment the first time around without a need for later revision."

"If there's any concern about lacerations around the eye, it would be prudent to call an ophthalmology consultation to evaluate and make sure there aren't [any] other associated injuries," Chen said.

´╗┐Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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