Dog bites can quickly become infected

Being bitten by a dog is a painful experience. Your first priority obviously needs to be getting away from the dog. From there, you will have to determine if you need to seek out medical care or not. It is imperative that you are very careful at this point, especially if the dog isn't your pet.

If the dog that attacked you belonged to someone else, you need to find out if the dog is up to date on the rabies shot. It is a good idea to ask the owner for copies of the rabies certificate so that you can provide that information to your medical team. The treatment for rabies in humans isn't pleasant, but it would likely be necessary if you start to show signs that you might have the disease.

Dog bites are full of bacteria from the dog's mouth. When you are first bitten, you may need to push lightly on the injury to force it to bleed. This might help to flush some of the bacteria out. You should also wash the are with soap and water to get more of the bacteria off the area.

Once you have done this, you can try to stop the bleeding. If you can't do this, you need to get emergency medical care. If the bleeding does stop, you should still have a medical evaluation, but it won't be an emergency.

Even if your bite wounds are oozing or bleeding very slowly, you aren't likely going to get stitches. Puncture wounds typically don't get stitches since suturing the area would trap any bacteria in the wound.

There is a chance that the dog bite will become infected. Seek out medical care if you have any signs of infection. These include:

  • The area turning red or becoming hot
  • Pus oozing out of the bite wound
  • The pain increases
  • You start running a fever

Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics out of an abundance of caution. The cost of medical care, as well as prescriptions, shouldn't fall on you. Seeking compensation from the dogs owner can help you to recover your money.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, "If a Dog Bites You, Do These 7 Things Now," accessed June 08, 2018

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