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How to Treat a Dog Bite and Prevent Infections

Posted on July 6, 2018 in Dog Bites,Personal Injury

Dog bite injuries can be very serious. Not only do they create open wounds, they also have the potential for infections and rabies. Even if a dog doesn’t bite you, you face the same risks if the dog scratched you and managed to drool on the open wound. Proper treatment of a dog bite is essential for the sake of your health.

Home Treatments

If the injury is minor, you can provide basic first aid for dog bites at home. You should first place a clean towel over the injury to stop the bleeding. Keeping the injured area elevated will help with this process. Once the bleeding has stopped, you will want to wash the bite carefully with soap and water.

After you’ve cleaned the wound, apply antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage. To prevent infection, you should change the dressings and apply a new dose of ointment to the wound daily.

Seeing a Doctor

While you can perform first aid at home, dog bites still pose the risk of becoming very serious injuries. In some cases, resulting infections will only recover with the use of antibiotics. You should see a doctor, especially in cases where:

  • An unfamiliar dog bit you
  • You can’t stop the bleeding
  • The bite is deep
  • A child is the victim
  • You see signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, and pus

Your doctor will examine the scope of the damages. He or she will also clean the bite wound of any dirt, bacteria, or dead tissue. Removing these from the wound reduces the chances of infection and allows the wound to heal properly.

While tending to your wound, your doctor will also ask questions about if you know the owner of the dog, if the dog is up to date on all vaccinations, whether provocation played a part, and your health conditions. If you have liver disease, diabetes, an illness that suppresses the immune system, or another condition, you may be at a greater risk for infection.

Depending on the status of the dog, you may need to get a rabies vaccine. Your doctor will also make sure you are up-to-date on your tetanus shot and prescribe you any additional antibiotics.

For very deep wounds, you may need to get stitches or plastic surgery.

Other Steps After a Dog Bite Attack

After suffering any sort of injury, tending to your health is the utmost priority. Severe infections from dog bites can lead to much greater medical complications. Once you’ve received help with your dog bite injuries, you may be wondering what to do next.

If you did not know the dog that bit you, report the attack to your local animal control office or police. These parties can help determine the owner and condition of the dog, as well as help find out if you are at a risk for rabies.

Depending on the circumstances of the attack, you may also be eligible for compensation. Nevada dog bite law states that dog owners are liable if the victim can prove the owner’s negligence lead to the injury. You may be able to recover physical, financial, and emotional damages. However, it is important to act fast.

If you wish to file a claim for a dog bite injury suffered by yourself or a loved one, contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney at Claggett & Sykes. We can provide a free consultation to determine if you are eligible for compensation and advise you on your next best legal steps. Our Las Vegas injury attorneys will handle your case so that you can focus on recovery.