With their wagging tails, fluffy fur, and abundant licks, it’s no surprise that we think of dogs as “man’s best friend.” But while dogs often make loveable companions, sometimes dogs bite. There are a variety of reasons as to why a dog might sink its teeth into you. But whether it’s because the dog has experienced prior abuse, neglect, or has injured you by accident while playing, dog bites can be extremely serious. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to care for yourself when a dog has bitten you.
1. Administer First Aid
When a dog has bitten you, the first thing that you should do is make your way to a safe location. Once you’re in a safe place you should immediately tend to the injury. Minor bites are generally manageable at home, but if upon examination you find that the bite is more serious, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, if you find that the area of the bite becomes tender, red, swollen, or warm, or if you have a fever, feel disoriented or faint, or cannot recall the date that you last had a tetanus shot, you should also seek medical attention right away. If you find that any of the following symptoms occur, you should seek the help of a medical professional:
- The bite area leaks fluid or pus
- The bite area will not stop bleeding
- You are in severe pain
- Your bone, muscles, and/or tendons are exposed
- You are experiencing loss of function
- You were bitten by a dog that was behaving erratically
- You were bitten by a dog that is not up-to-date on its vaccinations
2. Prevent Infections
One of the biggest risks after being bitten by a dog is to develop an infection. That’s why it’s important to take the proper precautions to best prevent infection from occurring. Even if the bite did not cause a break in the skin, wash the area with warm water and soap or apply antibacterial ointment if possible.
Alternatively, if the bite broke your skin, still wash with warm water and soap, but also press gently on the area to get a bit of blood out in order to push out any germs in the area. If you are already bleeding you’ll want to try to stop the bleeding. Use a clean cloth and press gently on the wound. Then use antibacterial ointment when possible and be sure to cover the wound with a sterile Band-Aid or bandage.
3. Collect the Dog’s Medical History
After the injury has been tended to, it’s extremely important that you ask the owner about the medical history of the dog. This includes whether the dog has had the necessary rabies shots. Also obtain the dog owner’s personal contact information such as name, number, and the information of their vet. However, if the owner is not present (e.g. if the dog was with a dog walker) at the time of the incident, it’s important to ask any witnesses if they know where the dog lives.
The Attorneys at Jones Kahan Law, LLC Can Help Those in Ohio Who Have Been Injured by a Dog Bite
Sometimes dogs bite; even the nice ones. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Personal Injury Attorney.
At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati Dog Bite attorneys have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!