What to Do After a Dog Bite
Share This Post
The old adage may say that dogs are a man’s best friend. However, that does not mean that you can approach and pet any dog you see. In fact, for your own safety, you should approach dogs you do not know with caution.
Even with an appropriate amount of caution, you could still get bitten and suffer what is now one of the most common types of personal injuries. You should take these immediate steps if you suffer a dog bite.
Stop the Bleeding
The first tip you should remember after being bitten by a dog, even one you know, involves stopping the bleeding. You should not wrap a tight tourniquet around the bite. Instead, you should apply gentle pressure on the wound until the bleeding has stopped.
Make sure you use a clean cloth rather than one that has stains or dirt on it. You also should not get the cloth wet, but instead use one that is dry and absorbent.
Clean the Wound
After you have stopped the bleeding, you should then clean out the wound with warm water and a mild soap. Make sure you remove any debris you find in the wound itself. While it may be painful, it is critical that you wash out the wound to prevent infection from getting down into the tissue and bloodstream.
After you wash out the wound, you may then apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the bite. You also may use rubbing alcohol or peroxide to treat the wound after it has been cleaned.
Go to the Emergency Room
Even if you know the dog that bit you, it is still critical that you go to the emergency room for professional medical treatment. You cannot know for certain if the dog has rabies or another disease. You will need to be tested for those illnesses so that you can get immediate treatment for them if necessary.
The emergency room doctor may also need to report the bite to the local police, depending on the circumstances of the dog (its owner, whether or not it was on a leash or on your property, etc.). Your bite will need to be documented and photographed for that reason.
Finally, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer if you suffer significant physical damages or medical expenses because of the dog bite. A personal injury lawyer can help you file legal action against the dog’s owner to recoup compensation to which you may be entitled.