Each year, almost five million Americans are bitten by a dog. This number is likely too low since many people do not report dog bites to the authorities. If a dog bites you, you should immediately treat the wound to stop bleeding and prevent infection.
Clean the Wound
Dog bites can be superficial or very deep. After a bite, you should immediately stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean towel. Also, elevate the wound above the heart.
If you cannot stop the bleeding with pressure, go immediately to the hospital to have the wound looked at.
Once the bleeding has stopped, you can wash the wound very carefully with soap and water. Be careful not to make the wound start bleeding again.
Once the wound is clean, put a sterile bandage over it. You should also apply antibiotic ointment every day to prevent infection. You can buy this ointment over the counter at the pharmacy.
Look for Infection
Some dog bites become infected because all kinds of bacteria live inside the dog’s mouth. If you properly cleaned the wound, you can minimize the risk of infection. Nevertheless, stay alert to the following signs that the wound has become infected:
- Pus drainage
- Painful to the touch
A doctor can assess the wound and prescribe a treatment of antibiotics to treat the infection, if necessary.
Visit the Hospital
Some dogs bite because they are anxious, overly excited, or angry. But other dogs might have rabies or another disease. If the bite wound is severe, you should immediately go to the hospital so that you can receive the proper medical treatment. Many times, medical professional will clean and wash out the wound plus wrap it in sterile gauze. You might also need a tetanus or a rabies shot. If the wound is or becomes infected, the dog bite area may need to be drained and sutured up. Also, remember to report the dog to authorities so that they can investigate.
Dealing with Catastrophic Injuries
Some dogs cause devastating injuries, especially to visible parts of the body like the face. In these unfortunate situations, victims often need reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. Victims might also need skin grafts to close the gaping wounds in their body. In these incidents, victims may need to see a plastic surgeon for scar removal.
In many instances, a serious bite wound will become sensitive or numb to touch. If this is the case, a medical consultation with a neurologist may be needed to determine if the area to the wound will ever feel again.
Speak with a Long Beach Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional injuries, and injured victims are entitled to compensation. At the Beliz Law Firm, our first priority is our clients. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation where we will sit down and listen to you describe the events that led up to the dog bite. If we think you have a valid legal claim against the owner, we can help you begin building your case.
To see what we can offer, please call 562-452-3772. Do not delay. California does not give injured victims an unlimited amount of time to seek financial compensation.