In the developed world of urbanized societies, man has maintained a close association with domesticated animals. One of the most prevalent health risks with regard to this association is the wounds produced by animal bites. Apart from the trauma they cause, they also prove a hazard to health because of the danger of wound infection.
76% of animal bites occur in the face, head and neck and may result in a serious injury or disfigurement.
In France there is a yearly average of 500,000 reported attacks by dogs, with 60,000 of those bitten requiring hospitalization and plastic surgery. Damages caused by dogs was estimated £70 million a year in the UK; in 1993 there were an estimated 140,000 dog bite incidents. In Belgium up to 40,000 are bitten each year. Three-quarters of the victims are younger than 14, and half are younger than four. Most victims are bitten by a dog they know. Small dogs bite as much as big ones and the wounds inflicted by either can be serious.