Dogs are often very special to their owners, and visa versa. Dogs are loved by many people to such extremes that they are often considered extended parts of the families. However, dogs are still animals, and this means that they possess feral defense mechanisms that can be wielded during emergencies or tense situations. Dogs will even strike by way of a bite if they feel threatened or they sense that their owner is threatened. In some cases, dogs can bite for seemingly no reason at all. In this case, it’s imperative to know what to do during and after a dog bite, medically and legally.
During the Bite
When a dog bite occurs, you may feel strongly urged to strike the animal or yank your body away to free yourself. Hitting the dog is not recommended, and yanking could increase the dog’s rage and cause him to bite more tightly into the skin. Instead of hitting the animal or yanking the attached body part away, find a stick or similar rod-like apparatus to insert into the mouth of the dog. This will cause the dog to feel gagged, and he will quickly loosen the bite and let you go.
What to Do Afterwards
Most dog bites are benign and don’t present a strong need for medical attention. These types of bites can typically be treated at home through the use of antiseptic solutions, soap, and water. Remember to clean the wound with water and soap before applying the antiseptic solution. The offending dog could have been carrying harmful bacteria or other diseases in its mouth at the time of the bite, so be sure to wash thoroughly. Once the wound has been thoroughly cleansed, rub antibiotic ointment onto the affected area and wrap it with a band-aid, gauze, or other similar type of bandage.
When You Could Be at Risk for Infection
It’s not likely, but in some cases, an infection can set in due to the severity of the bite and/or the bacteria or disease(s) that the dog was carrying at the time of the bite. Infections are more likely to set in for people with fill any of the following criteria:
- If you have recently received any major surgery
- If you have diabetes, AIDS, or HIV
- If you have problems with your liver or alcohol addiction
- If your spleen has been removed, or you don’t have one
- If you are a senior citizen or a child
For More Information on Dog Bite Infections Feel Free to Visit: MedicineNet’s Dog Bite Page
To stay on the safe side, it’s a good idea to contact a doctor for medical advice or an appointment if you fell under any of the points in the previous list.
Bites from stray dogs are cause for alarm as well, as they are notorious for carrying serious diseases such as rabies.
Seeking Legal Action
In some cases, if the bite is severe enough, it may be worth it to seek legal compensation for injuries and any possible lost work hours/pay. Dog laws are present in all states at the time, but dog owners are also expected to uphold certain lines of precautions when handling or bringing their dogs around others. It is often quite easy to receive compensation for dog bite injuries if the dog was not on a leash or chain at the time of the bite, or if the dog has a history with biting other people.
However, each situation is different and the odds of compensation cannot be determined without specifically speaking to a lawyer about what happened with the animal. If you feel that you need to be reimbursed for physical and monetary damages you received from a dog bite, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer.