Some Important Things to Know About Dog Bites 

 March 11, 2022

Although dogs are always referred to as man’s best friend, they are still an animal and animals will bite for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’re scared, being protective or even hurt? It’s best to always be aware of this and be prepared. Each year, there are over 4.5 million Americans who are bitten by a dog, and half of that number are kids aged up to 9. According to the CDC, one in five dog bites results in the need of medical care. Furthermore, a dog bite is more likely to hurt a child over an adult.

While a stray dog or dogs you may not know are the most likely to bite you, most people are bitten by dogs they are familiar with, such as a dog owned by a friend or even the dog you own.

There are ways to avoid dog bites and we’ve put together a list for you to take precautions.

– When selecting a dog for the family, make sure to look for one with a kind attitude.

– Stay clear from any canines you are unfamiliar with.

– Never leave a small kid alone with any dog, regardless if you know them or not.

– Playing with a dog that is eating or feeding its pups is not a good idea.

– Always approach a dog cautiously and allow the dog the opportunity to approach you.

– Do not flee or shout if a dog turns hostile. Maintain a cool demeanor, walk slowly, and avoid making eye contact with the dog.

Treatments for Dog Bites

Although you can treat a bite from a dog while at home, it’s critical to consult a doctor, particularly if the dog that bit you is one you don’t know, the laceration is deep, if the bleeding won’t stop, or if you see any symptoms of infection, such as redness or pus. Dog bites may result in illnesses that need antibiotic treatment.

To treat a dog bite injury at home, follow these steps:

– To stop any bleeding, place a clean cloth over the wound.

– Keep the affected region elevated as much as possible.

– Carefully clean the bite with soap and water.

– Cover the wound with a clean bandage.

– To avoid infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the injury daily.

Prepare to answer some questions if you are scheduled to see a doctor, such as:

– Do you know the owners of the dog who bit you??

– Does the dog have all the immunizations?

– Was the dog provoked or not at the time of the bite?

– Do you suffer from any medical issues the doctor should know about? Those who have ailments like diabetes or immune-suppressing disorders, among other issues may be at higher risk for a serious infection.

The doctor you see will inspect the bite to see if there was any damage to muscles or nerves if the bite was that deep. They will also clean the bite incision carefully to eliminate any germs, and may also take away any dead tissue if needed.

Sutures are sometimes used to seal a wound caused by a dog bite, however this technique is recommended. Suturing the wound may help to stop the advent of a scar, but also increases the risk that it may turn into an infection. Depending on where the damage is, it may or may not be closed. Dog bites on the face, for example, may be sutured to avoid noticeable scarring. Plastic surgery may be required for really severe wounds that cause a lot of harm.

In addition, your doctor will take precautions to avoid infection. Although rabies is uncommon in dogs in the United States, if the dog’s health is unclear or if tests prove the dog in fact has rabies, you will need to obtain a rabies vaccination, which consists of shots done over 2 weeks. The doctor will also check to see whether you have had your tetanus vaccination.

Dog bites may also require antibiotics for up to 14 days to treat someone with a bite that has an infection. The doctor may request that you return to have the bite re-evaluated.

If you were bitten by a dog you didn’t know, report the incident to your local animal control office, as they can make sure the animal doesn’t bite someone else.

Legal Consequences

If you have been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to a settlement from the owner, especially if you are seriously injured. Deep lacerations to the face or life-threatening injury could very well be grounds for a claim. However, laws are sometimes different in other states. Maybe, you need a dog bite attorney in New Jersey. Or, a dog bite lawyer in NYC. Always reach out to an expert versed in the law from the area of the incident.

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