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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 6, 2002


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;287(5):558. doi:10.1001/jama.287.5.558-JJY20049-2-1

Imprudently Treated Wound.—A man was slightly wounded in the leg by the bite of a dog. His daughter obtained from the owner of the dog a small bunch of the latter's hair, and conceived the idea that it would soothe the wound, and cause it to heal. She put this hair on the scratches inflicted by the animal, carrying out the old saw that the hair of the dog is an antidote for the bite. After having put on the hair, she applied a piece of salt meat over the hair. The hair and the salt meat remained on the wound for about a week, at the end of which week erysipelas developed. The application was removed, and a physician sent for. But the man died. The Supreme Court of Louisiana holds, Martinez vs. Bernhard, that, in such a case, the owner of the dog could not be held liable for damages, the two physicians who examined the wound testifying that septicemia probably resulting from the imprudent treatment, and not the bite of the dog, was the cause of death.

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