Dogs are our best friends, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are domesticated wolves. And wolves can bite. A lot.
Fact: more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. And the worst part is that the majority of dog bite victims are children under 9.
In about a quarter of all dog bite cases, the victim requires medical attention, not to mention that a few dozen people die from dog bites each year.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just stray dogs that bite. In fact, more often than not, Americans suffer dog bite injuries from dogs owned by someone or even a dog they know.
What to do after a dog bite?
The first thing you need to do after a dog bite is that, no matter how minor your injuries may seem, you need to seek medical help, especially if you were bitten by an unfamiliar dog or stray dog.
Even though you could provide first aid at home, it’s highly advised to call paramedics to the scene of the dog attack. Many people are confused about what kind of treatment they should get for a dog bite.
But the truth is that there is no universal way to treat dog bites, as some wounds are deep, others are shallow. Some trigger extreme bleeding, others go relevantly unnoticed, which is why many victims allow their injuries to run their course (a big mistake).
In the worst-case scenario, the victim will be required to take antibiotics or do injections to treat infections that can be caused by dog bites. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, and pus.
How to treat a dog bite at home?
Los Angeles dog bite attorney Howard Craig Kornberg insists that while you should never attempt to treat your injuries at home, caring for a dog bite wound at home can be important if, for some reason, paramedics cannot arrive at the scene of the dog attack in a timely manner and you aren’t far away from the scene of the accident.
In this case, you can treat your dog bite injuries at home with this step-by-step guide:
- Put a clean towel over the wound to stop bleeding;
- To reduce the risk of infection, keep the injured area elevated;
- Wash the wound with soap and lukewarm water to remove dirt or bacteria;
- Put a sterile bandage over the bite;
- Apply antibiotic ointment (if you have any at home).
How to seek medical attention for a dog bite injury?
However, treating your injuries at home is optional, as only a doctor can tell whether or not you need to take antibiotics or do injections to prevent infection or any other unnecessary complications.
Speaking to a medical professional is vital, not only because this could save your life, but also because having a medical report listing the severity of your dog bite injuries is important to be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
During your visit to the hospital, you may be asked the following questions:
- Do you know the dog or its owner? Have you seen it before?
- If you know the dog, has it been vaccinated, including for rabies?
- Did you or anyone else do anything that could in any way provoke the dog?
- Do you have any severe health conditions? Perhaps diabetes, immune deficiency, and other conditions suppress the immune system and put you at a higher risk of getting infected.
Only a medical professional can examine the injury and determine what kind of treatment is required to reduce the risk of infection, reduce scarring, fix disfigurement, advise you on plastic surgery (if needed), and take any measures to help you recover and get back to work as soon as possible.
While your doctor is working hard to put you back on your feet, seek help from our dog bite attorney in Los Angeles to find out your best legal strategy to hold the owner of the dog that bit you accountable for your injuries and damages. After all, your medical bills won’t pay for themselves.