Canines are any of the members of the dog family, and they include foxes, wolves, jackals, and the likes. We will focus on dogs in this article. As much as dogs can be described as furry, calm, and loyal, they also bite.
About a 4.5million Americans, mostly young children, get bitten by dogs each year, and every day more than 1000 Americans are rushed into the emergency room due to dog bites. The injuries from a dog bite can be so severe, especially if it’s near the face or neck.
Here are the steps you should take immediately if you or your child gets bitten by a dog:
- Remain Calm
After a dog bite, you need to stay calm. Don’t try to catch the dog, especially if it’s an unknown dog. If it’s your child that got bitten, or anyone you know that got bitten by a dog, make them remain calm as well. Just take some photos to document the injuries sustained.
- Apply First Aid and Seek Medical Attention
Clean the wound if it is not a deep one. For puncture wounds — like a deep tear/cut, allow the blood flow to cleanse the wound before applying pressure to stop the flow. You need to see a medical doctor because a dog bite can get infected, which would require an antibiotic. Nearly 50% of dog bites carry bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, Pasteurella, and Capnocytophaga, which raises infection risks. About 15% of dog bite injuries get infected. In some cases, you might need to stitch the wound. Some medical conditions may also affect the way a dog bite is treated. If the wound is in the face, insist on getting treatment from a plastic surgeon.
- Contact A Lawyer
You might need a lawyer, an experienced one, to help you deal with the legal processes that arise from these kinds of situations. You have to find lawyers located in your area. For example, If you are in Georgia, you will need dog bite lawyers in Athens, Clarke County to handle the case. You might need legal remedies to handle the payment for medical treatment due to the dog bite or even for compensations for the dog bite.
- Follow The Directions Of Your Doctor
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for you to use. Follow those prescriptions. You might be asked to stay out of the sun, use sunblock, use scar reduction lotion, change bandages. Don’t stop going for treatment even when you have been discharged from the hospital, follow up on your treatment, go back for removal of stitches, go for massages, and so on. Follow your doctor’s advice.
- Find Out If The Dog Has Been Vaccinated
If you get bitten by a dog, and the owner is present, take the person’s contact so you can get information about the dog’s vaccination—rabies vaccination. Go further to follow up on the dog’s veterinarian to know if the dog’s rabies vaccinations are current.
Altogether, try to know which dog it is and whose dog it is that bit you. On one note, rabies shots can be painful, and you could avoid the process by just knowing the animal that attacked you. On a second note, you get to determine who was at fault for the dog attack or whose responsibility it is.
- File A Report
File a report with the police and animal control about the dog bite. The law enforcement agencies will make sure the dog owner takes proper steps, preventive measures, and care so that the dog won’t bite any other person.
- Find Out Why It Happened
This is an important step to take if the dog involved in the attack is your dog. Try to figure out what caused your dog to attack, so you can discipline the dog immediately and maybe practice the “no talk, no-touch, and no eye contact rule” rule. This will show that you do not approve of the dog’s action. Take your dog to a veterinarian if the dog becomes aggressive to find a medical reason for all of that. Treatment can follow to prevent such from happening again.
- Talk To Witnesses
Talk to people who witnessed the dog bite, get their contact so you can keep in touch with them. You might need the witnesses during the legal cases that follow for medical treatment and compensation for other losses that resulted from the dog bite.
- Get Insurance Information From The Dog Owner
Some insurance policies cover the cost of treating injuries or other losses that may arise from a dog bite. If the dog owner’s insurance company calls you, avoid signing or discussing a settlement without getting the service of an attorney.
Dog bites are not a fun experience and they can lead to more serious complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the steps to take if you get caught up in a dog bite incident.