What to Do After a Dog Bite/Animal Attack - The Right Actions to Take

Published: 08th December 2008
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Dogs bite many people each year. Some dogs are the pets of those who are bitten, while others may be strays. If a dog bites you, then there are a number of things to do, as well as things to avoid. To start, never try to pull away from the dog, as this often only causes the animal to hold on tighter to your skin or clothes. Spend your effort trying to find something else to stick into the dog's mouth, such as a stick, to both divert the dog's attention, and to cause the dog to gag, thereby releasing its grip on you. Simply trying to push the animal away may be difficult, as many dogs are actually quite strong, especially in the jaws.

For pet dog bites that do not seem deep or serious, immediately wash the bite area with soap and water. If there is any bleeding, use a clean towel to apply pressure to the wounded area. Dog saliva often contains potentially harmful bacteria, and washing the wound area can help to rid the bite of possible infection. Next, find some antiseptic or rubbing alcohol, and clean out the bite area again. Treat the wound with antibiotic cream or ointment at least twice daily, and cover with a sterile bandage. As much as possible, try to elevate the wounded area above your heart, which will slow the swelling of the area. Should an infection develop, a victim may need to consult a medical physician for further treatment.

Further, for dog bite victims who also suffer from serious medical conditions such as diabetes, liver or lung disease, cancer or AIDS, for older victims, or those who may have had an organ transplant, serious complications may potentially ensue from more aggressive and damaging bites, because one's ability to fight infection may be weakened. Similarly, bites from stray dogs complicate matters more, as there may be a rabies condition to deal with. For serious cases where the wound is deep, excessively bloody or gaping, or for wounds that are located on the head, hands or feet, attention that is more serious may be required. Should persistent redness or swelling exist, or infection with oozing pus occurs, you should also consult a physician. There may also be legal grounds that entitle a dog bite victim to damages for injuries, and a personal injury lawyer should be consulted.

Lastly, is the dog or animal is owned by people whom you know, ask for the vaccination record, and inform the owners of what has transpired, as the animal may need to be quarantined. If the animal tests positive for rabies, you will need to get a series of rabies shots from a doctor. If a stray dog or animal has bitten you, call your local animal control agency or health department, so they can attempt to locate the dog and test it for rabies.

Should you require any legal assistance, a skilled wrongful death lawyer, car accident attorneys, and Atlanta, Georgia personal injury lawyers have the experience to help obtain compensation for your losses.

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