The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : What to Do Immediately After Being Bit by a Dog

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to Do Immediately After Being Bit by a Dog


If you or someone near you has been bitten by a dog, try to stay calm or keep the other person calm. Try to identify the dog because you will need to observe it later. It is important to identify the animal that bit you, because if it is a stray and you cannot identify it, you're facing the possibility of having to submit to treatment for rabies, which can be painful.

Also, if you were attacked by a dog or any wild animal being kept by a person, you probably are entitled to receive compensation from the animal's owner, and you might really need that compensation to pay your medical bills, reimburse you for lost income, pay for cosmetic surgery in the future, and help you overcome the pain and suffering from your injuries.

Treat your wound at once, even before going to the hospital. Quickly attend to the wound.

Next, wash the wound by letting cool running water flow over it. Get some soap and wash the wound thoroughly. Keep the water running at all times as you wash it. You may need to reapply the soap two to three times to fully cleanse the area. Rinse thoroughly and dab dry with a clean towel.

Then, apply antiseptic lotion and antibacterial cream on the wound to prevent contamination. Do not put any bandages on the wound, leave them off  to hasten healing through air drying. If it is a small wound, you can put on a band-aid or sterile bandage. Larger and deep wounds should be washed the same way with soap and running water, then brought to the hospital for possible stitches and other wound treatments.

Finally, always go to your doctor or the hospital after a dog bite so that you can get the necessary shots needed to prevent viral contamination or infection. Some individuals are more susceptible to developing infection or diseases after a dog bite, like children, HIV or AIDS patients, organ donors, and the elderly. These people must take extra caution after being bitten to prevent complications.

A dog bite is never a pretty sight. Every dog's saliva contains enzymes that are potentially lethal to the human body. It will take several years before symptoms develop but, once present, are irreversible. You have to know the immediate and appropriate measures in order to save yourself.

Bites to the hand, are potentially dangerous because of the structure of the hand. There are many bones, tendons, and joints in the hand and there is less blood circulation in these areas. This makes it harder for the body to fight infection in the hand. Infections that develop in the hand may lead to severe complications, such as osteomyelitis or septic arthritis.

In small children, bites to the face, neck, or head are extremely hazardous. Because their small stature often puts their heads near dogs’ mouths, children are often bitten in these areas. Dog bites can cause fractures of the face and skull and lead to brain and nervous system infections.

If the dog owner is insured, you might get a call from an insurance company representative. You should ask him or her for the following information:
  • Name of insurance company
  • Address of his or her office
  • Telephone number
  • Claim number
  • Name of the person who is insured
The amount of money available to pay medical expenses (not everything, just medical expenses) Do not do any of the following:
  • Do not discuss money, payment of money, settlement, injury value or anything else involving money
  • Do not set up an appointment
  • Do not write a letter or a memo
  • Do not permit yourself to be tape recorded
  • Do not allow the victim to be photographed
  • Do not discuss who is responsible
  • Do not accept any money

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