How to Overcome Cynophobia?

A dog is often referred to as ‘’man’s best friend.’’

However, that can change at a moment’s notice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.5 million people suffer dog bites, with 800,000 requiring medical attention. 

Prompt medical care can often help dog bite victims who sustain minor injuries start on the path to a full recovery. Visiting a nearby ER is enough to stitch a wound or prevent minor bacterial infection. On the contrary, some victims endure the long-term effects of dog bites for weeks, months, or the rest of their lives.

Dog attack victims endure varying long-term effects of dog bites, including cynophobia. In addition, they suffer poor mental and physical health, expensive treatment plans, and reduced quality of life.

If you’re looking for relief from the long-term effects of dog bites, consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Cynophobia (Fear of Dogs)

Cynophobia is an overwhelming fear of dogs. It’s an anxiety disorder displayed by victims who experience intense fear and anxiety when they think, see, or come across a dog. People who naturally fear dogs have had a traumatic experience with dogs, e.g., an attack.

People at the Highest Risk of Cynophobia

Children are more vulnerable to cynophobia; even so, people of other age groups are equally at risk. People with autism and other sensory or intellectual disorders are also highly likely to develop cynophobia.

The following group of people is likely to encounter cynophobia:

  • People with another phobia or are from a family with a history of phobias
  • Suffering from depression
  • If you have a substance abuse disorder
  • If you have a history of panic attacks, mental illness, or panic disorder

In addition, anyone who had a nasty encounter with a dog is at risk of developing cynophobia. If even the dog didn’t attack you, the mere encounter of being chased is enough to trigger cynophobia. 

Symptoms of Cynophobia

Generally, people with cynophobia experience the utmost fear, anxiety, and panic attacks when they think of or see a dog. What you experience when the dog’s fear overcomes you is specific to you and depends on the cause.

Here are a few signs of cynophobia:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Catastrophic thoughts
  • Avoidance

How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Cynophobia?

The treatment for cynophobia is a combination of therapy and medication. For instance, a healthcare provider may use therapy like gradually exposing you to dogs. They may also recommend further therapy activities like holding a toy dog, petting it while on a leash, or meditating about an encounter with a dog.

Your physician may also recommend medication to treat depression, relieve anxiety, or control panic attacks.

Diseases and Infections

Dog bites can also put you at risk of developing infections and diseases with long-term health effects. Unfortunately, dog bite victims who get infections or diseases endure hefty medical bills, lost income, and loss of livelihoods.

Here are the common infections from dog bites:


Pasteurella multocida is a common infection caused by a dog bite or scratch. The bacteria live in the dog’s mouth and are transmitted after tearing the victim’s skin. Pasteurella can cause cellulitis, which is a severe skin infection.

If untreated, Pasteurella can cause other long-term complications, including eye infections, Meningitis, and bone infections.


Capnocytophaga is another infection transmitted from a dog’s bite or scratch. It’s common for people with a weak immune system, such as cancer or HIV patients, who find it difficult to fight infections.

Symptoms of a Capnocytophaga infection include joint pains, headaches, fever, redness, vomiting, and diarrhea. If untreated, it can cause kidney failure, heart attack, amputation, or sepsis.


Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by a dog through saliva, scratch, or bites. Symptoms of rabies include headache, fever, flu-like signs, and itching around the bite. The rabies virus infects the victim’s central nervous system. If the victim doesn’t seek immediate medical attention, it can cause brain damage and death.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Victims of dog attacks may display symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a long-term effect that victims endure for the rest of their life. A dog attack victim with PTSD constantly fears being attacked again and sometimes develops nightmares.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder include:

  • Insomnia
  • Severe anxiety
  • Loss of interest in fun activities
  • Irritability
  • Social isolation
  • Intrusive thoughts, including flashbacks of the attack
  • Experiencing negative emotions such as shame, fear, guilt, and anger.
  • Having trouble concentrating

Generally, a dog bite victim may experience PTSD symptoms days following the attack and remain affected several months after the attack. In addition to PTSD, dog attack victims suffer related mental and health problems like depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.


In addition to a wound, a dog bite can leave a scar on the skin’s surface. Unfortunately, scars heal differently. The shape of a dog’s mouth is irregular, which explains the different shapes and forms of bite scars.

It’s, therefore, possible to find scars with jagged edges with others assuming a different skin shade. Moreover, scars are difficult to hide if placed in visible areas like the face. With that in mind, victims are left with a permanent mark and trauma associated with the scar.

The effects of scars are felt for years to come, necessitating further care. For instance, if a dog scar impairs your ability to move, you may need corrective surgery to free up overgrown tissue. In other cases, victims require therapy sessions to regain their emotional and mental health.

Speak to an Experienced San Antonio Dog Bite Lawyer

It’s a challenging ordeal to cope with the long-term effects of a dog bite. As a victim, you’ll have to endure psychological impact, chronic pain, disfigurement, and hefty medical bills. 

At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we understand the devastating effects of dog bites, which explains our commitment to helping victims get their deserved compensation. Our experienced attorneys will passionately fight to hold negligent owners accountable. Contact us online or call us at 855.948.4914 to start your free consultation.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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