Dog Bites: Prevention & Treatment

Dog Bites: Prevention & Treatment

For many, dogs are an important 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 serious injury that requires medical care. Because dog bites can be so dangerous, it is important to know how to avoid them and what steps to take if you or a loved one is bitten.

Tips for Preventing Bites

It isn’t always easy to know when a dog might bite and many bites take people by surprise. However, there are a few simple guidelines that people can follow to reduce their risk of suffering a dog bite injury. These include:

  • 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 who are currently eating or feeding their puppies, they become aggressive to defend their food and/or young.
  • Whenever you are going to 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.
Treating Dog Bites

There are some steps that you can take to treat a dog bite at home, but it is important to see a doctor after being bitten, especially if you do not know the dog that bit you. Dog bites are liable to cause infections and often require treatment with prescription antibiotics.

To treat a dog bite injury at home before you see a doctor, you should:

  • 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 serious 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.

Calling a Lawyer

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.

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Fairfield Dog Bite Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield dog bite lawyer. If you’ve been hurt by a dog, call me to get free, friendly legal advice about receiving compensation. You can reach me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. You can also send me a message online.

I’ve assisted Fairfield residents with getting fair payments in cases of wrongful death and personal injury since 1982.

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