What to do following a dog bite

In a previous post we provided tips regarding how someone might avoid being bitten by a dog. Specifically that post focused on keeping children safe. Unfortunately, even in situations where someone follows those tips dog bites will occur. When they do happen it is important to know what steps to take.

The treatment a dog bite will require depends on its severity. Superficial gashes or scrapes can be treated with a topical antibiotic and bandaged after being cleaned under running water and with either isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Puncture wounds are generally more serious. If the wound is bleeding profusely and will not stop with direct pressure 911 should be called. In other situations it is okay to let it bleed a bit as it will clean the wound out. When it stops bleeding, running water and a mild soap can be used to clean it. Isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are generally not needed as they may make it take longer for the wound to heal. A bandage is optional.

There are other concerns that people may have following a dog bite such as rabies. When it is an unknown dog that is responsible for the bite animal control should be called. In addition, medical attention should be sought immediately. It is possible that rabies shots could be necessary.

While seeking medical attention is of course a priority following a dog bite, legal action may also make sense. To learn about the available options a personal injury lawyer can be of assistance.

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