Dog Bites: Prevention & Treatment
For many, dogs are an essential part of their family as well as a trusted friend and companion. However, even the friendliest and best-trained dogs can bite under the wrong circumstances. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year, with half of those people being children between the ages of five and nine. Furthermore, about one out of every five dog bites will cause a severe injury that requires medical care. Because being attacked and bitten by a dog can be dangerous, knowing how to avoid being attacked and what steps to take for dog bite treatment and infection prevention is essential.Tips for Preventing Bites
- Keep a safe distance from dogs you are not familiar with.
- Never leave a child alone with a dog, even if you know the dog well.
- Don’t approach dogs currently eating or feeding their puppies; they become aggressive to defend their food and/or young.
- Whenever you approach a dog, make sure that you do so slowly and allow the dog to contact you at its own pace and comfort level.
- If a dog seems aggressive, don’t scream or run away. Try to stay calm, move slowly, and avoid making eye contact.
You can take some steps to treat a dog bite at home, but seeing a doctor after being bitten is essential, especially if you do not know the dog that bit you. Getting attacked and bitten by a dog can result in a potential infection that often requires treatment with prescription dog bite antibiotics.
Before you see a doctor after a dog bite, treatment at home should include the following:
- Use a clean towel or piece of cloth to stop excessive bleeding.
- Elevate the injured area above the heart.
- Wash the wound carefully using soap and water.
- Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage.
- Apply antibiotic cream to the wound.
At your doctor’s appointment, your doctor will likely ask you the following questions, and you should be prepared to give accurate answers:
- Are you familiar with the owner of the dog?
- Do you know if the dog is vaccinated and if its vaccinations are current?
- Did the bog bite because it was provoked, or did the attack happen suddenly?
- Do you have any severe health conditions, including diabetes, immune disorders, liver issues, or anything that may put you at risk for infection?
Watch YouTube Video: Dog Bite Wounds - How to Treat a Dog Bite. This video provides tips on how to treat a dog bite and minimize the chance of getting an infection.When Should You Contact an Attorney After a Dog Bite Injury?
In California, dog owners are strictly liable for the injuries their pets cause. This means that those injured by dog bites can hold owners responsible for paying for damages related to their injuries. Unlike most personal injury cases, injured parties do not need to prove that dog owners behaved negligently to seek compensation. To learn more about what you may be owed for your injuries, get in touch with a Fairfield dog bite lawyer as soon as you can.
If you’ve been hurt by a dog, call our legal team for free, friendly advice about receiving compensation. You can reach us at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. We’ve assisted Fairfield residents with getting fair payments in wrongful death and personal injury cases since 1982. Learn more about us. See our past verdicts and settlements and client reviews on Avvo, Yelp, and Google.
Editor’s Note: updated [cha 8.17.23] Photo: ab ms cha [cs 670]