5 Steps to Take When You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog

Being bitten by a dog is an experience that can shake you up pretty badly. Though you might be in shock, it’s important to act quickly to assess the wound, treat it and deal with any potential issues that may arise.

If the bite is extremely severe, you might need to get in contact with a dog bite lawyer in order to claim compensation. However, before addressing these types of issues, try to remain calm and follow these crucial steps.

Clean and Treat the Wound

You’ll need to clean the wound as well as you possibly can – the way you do so will depend on the severity of the bite. If the skin isn’t broken or if the bite is mild, you can wash the area with warm, soapy water.

If your wound is bleeding, apply a clean, damp cloth to the area and use pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has subsided, you can treat it with antibacterial ointment and a bandage if necessary.

Ask About Vaccination

If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, try to get in touch with the owner as soon as you can. Be sure to get their name, contact details and their vet’s details too, and find out if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.

If you cannot find the owner of the dog, they might have a chip implanted that could help. Or, if you believe the dog might be homeless, it might be for the best that you see a doctor immediately.

Be Aware of Possible Complications

Rabies is just one potential complication that can arise from a dog bite. Some others include infections like Staphylococcus and Pasteurella, or even muscle or nerve damage if the wound is deep. Untreated wounds are more likely to become infected, so be sure to monitor your injury.

You might also face a broken or fractured bone if you were bitten by a larger dog, and if you suspect that this might be the case, see a doctor immediately.

Seek Help if Need Be

Of course, you may well be able to treat the wound at home and allow it to heal completely without any intervention though keep in mind that a deeper wound might scar. However, there are cases where professional medical attention might be required.

See a doctor if you suspect rabies, a broken bone or any other infection. You should also seek medical advice if you suspect the dog might be sick in any way. Further, if your wound becomes infected at any point during the healing process, see your doctor immediately for assistance.

Keep the Wound Clean

In order to prevent infection, you’ll need to make sure that you keep the wound as clean as possible. Change your dressing regularly – every few hours at first – clean it as well as possible and apply antibacterial ointment, then reapply a clean bandage.

Remember to allow the wound to breathe too once it begins to heal – trapping the wound within a moist bandage for too long could also lead to an infection.

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