Bitten by a Dog? Here is What You Need to Know

Posted July 1, 2021 by in Lifestyle

Dogs have been considered man’s best friend for a very long time. However, no matter how loving and obedient a dog is, there are still tendencies where they may bite people. Regardless of the dog’s size, their front teeth can rip and tear skin and cause serious injuries. 

Approximately 4.7 million Americans get bitten by dogs every year. In 2017 alone, 370,000 people were treated for non-fatal dog-related injuries. 

Whether you’ve been bitten by a domesticated dog or a stray dog, you must take action right away. Your number one priority after a dog bite is preventing infection from spreading throughout your body. 

If a dog has bitten someone you know or if you have been bitten by a dog yourself, here are some things you can do after getting bitten: 

How to Do First-Aid After Getting Bitten:

Wash the Wound

After getting bitten by a dog, stay calm and don’t panic. You must wash the wound immediately to avoid infection. Make sure you use mild soap and warm running water. The blood may make you feel nauseous but keep washing the wound. Wash your wound for five to ten minutes, then dry it with a clean towel.

Use a Clean Cloth

If your dog bite wound is still bleeding after washing it for 10 minutes, you can use a clean cloth to help stop the bleeding. 

Wrap the Wound with a Bandage 

If you have over-the-counter antibiotic cream with you, you can put the cream over your wound before applying the bandages. If you don’t have cream, you can wrap your wound with a sterile bandage to avoid bacteria germs from getting into your wound. 

Observe the Wound

Regularly check the state of your wound and see whether it’s infected or not. Observe if you are experiencing the following symptoms: 

  • redness or irritation
  • swelling
  • warmth or tenderness when it’s touched
  • pain getting more intense
  • bleeding getting worse
  • fever
  • visible tissue underneath, such as bones or muscles
  • loss of ability to move any limbs that were bitten
  • injury oozes discharge or pus

If you are feeling any of those, you must go to a doctor immediately. Unfortunately, there’s only so much that first-aid can do. It’s best to get a medical professional to treat your dog bite quickly, as a dog’s saliva can contain many types of infectious bacteria. If you don’t get your wound treated right away, you may risk getting long-term infections. 

It’s especially important to get medical treatment immediately if: 

  • A stray dog has bitten you – You’re never sure whether a stray dog carries rabies or other infectious illnesses. If a stray dog has bitten you, it’s best to get checked immediately. 
  • Your face or your mouth was bitten – Being bitten on the mouth can cause gum disease and tooth decay if untreated. 
  • Your finger or hands were bitten – Your hands and fingers contain many complex blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. If your fingers or hands are bitten, and if they get infected, it can easily spread throughout your body, so it is important to go to a trained medical professional immediately. 

But What If a Child Has Been Bitten?

Approximately 70 percent of dog bites occur at home. If you have a pet dog and you haven’t fully trained your dog yet, do not leave your child alone with the dog unsupervised. 

Children tend to be playful. Unfortunately, most of them are unaware of how dangerous dogs are and tend to view them the same way they view toys. In America, nearly 46% of dog bite-related fatalities were children under the age of 16. This is why it’s especially important to keep your child safe in the presence of a dog. 

If a dog has bitten your child, bring them to the doctor immediately after giving them first aid treatment

But what if someone else’s dog bites me? 

If another person’s dog has bitten you, make sure that you get their name and contact details. Each state has varying dog-bite laws. For instance, in California, the owner of the dog will be liable for the bite if the following circumstances are met: 

  • a dog bite caused the damages, and the person bitten was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place (including the dog owner’s property) when the bite occurred.

The injured party has the right to seek the assistance of an experienced California dog bite lawyer to help them with their claim. California practices strict liability for dog bites, which means that dog owners cannot simply claim that they were “unaware” of their dog’s violent tendencies. The owner is expected to be liable for all the injuries related to the dog bite. 

You can look for a reliable dog bite lawyer by searching “dog bite lawyer near me.” 

*Photo by Lum3n