Each year, roughly thousands of Americans are treated for dog bites. Although most dog bites are not critical, they can still cost you in medical bills, time away from your job and mental anguish. If you, or someone you know, has suffered from a dog bite, here’s are some treatment guidelines, besides signs for knowing when to get medical care.
Basic Home Care
If you only minimal abrasion or your skin isn’t disturbed, you may not need to see a doctor. Even still, be sure to watch for redness, inflammation, pain and pus or fluid drainage. If you have any of these symptoms, go immediately to a medical care center for treatment.
If you think your bite isn’t that severe and that you can treat it at home, keep your injured area elevated. Thoroughly wash the bite, using soap and water. After covering your wound with a sterile bandage, apply antibiotic ointment daily to protect it from getting infected.
When to See a Doctor
- Get prompt medical care if the bite causes a puncture, tear or laceration.
- See a doctor if you have pain either at or near the place of injury. This is because there may be damage done to underlying structures.
- As even small wounds can be hazardous, it’s best to see a medical professional who can examine the bite and treat you.
- If the victim is a baby or child, take him or her to a medical care facility to be checked and treated.
Considerations and Warnings
- Male dogs are 6.5 times more likely to bite than female dogs.
- Most dogs attack their victims on the face, neck and head.
- If you have a facial laceration, you may need to have extensive reconstructive surgery.
- If the wound is a puncture, let it bleed unless you’ve lost a considerable amount of blood. This is because the blood flowing out a wound can act as a cleansing agent.
- For puncture wounds, don’t use iodine, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol because these products can slow the healing process. Usually, a puncture wound doesn’t require bandaging. If you do bandage the wound, clean it thoroughly before you bandage it.
If you’re the victim of a dog bite, make sure you get the name of the dog’s owner, as well as contact numbers and the names and numbers of any witnesses. You also need to ask the owner for a proof of rabies vaccines to ensure the vaccine is current. Notify animal control, besides the police. This is so the owner can do whatever is necessary in preventing future dog bites.
What’s more, don’t hesitate to consult a personal injury lawyer at Hancock Injury Attorneys. As personal injury lawyers, we can help you recover all your losses for any other type of personal injury. Please contact us so that we can begin working on your case. You don’t pay any upfront fees for handling. You only pay when your lawyer wins your case.