You love dogs, but one that seems friendly may suddenly lash out and bite you. Knowing how to handle the situation could prevent a medical disaster while you explore your legal options.
WebMD explains how medical professionals treat dog bites. Learn how to protect your physical health and get the attention you need.
First aid treatment at home
Immediately after the bite, wrap the body part in a clean towel to stop the bleeding, making sure you elevate the injury. Next, use soap and water to clean the injury site before spreading antibiotic ointment on the wound to protect it from infection. Cover the bite with a sterile bandage.
Medical treatment at the doctor’s office
Even if you sustain a minor dog bite and tend to the wound at home, let your physician examine you. With a medical professional’s help, you may determine if the dog bit through muscle, tendon, bone or nerve. Even if you cleaned the injury site, your doctor may notice dead tissue around the wound.
Open bite wounds may require sutures, but using them could trigger an infection. If you feel uncomfortable getting sutures, ask about an alternative. For instance, you could take antibiotics for seven to 14 days to protect yourself from infection. Depending on the health of the dog that harmed you, you may need a rabies vaccine or a tetanus shot.
You must take quick action at home and at the doctor’s office after suffering a dog bite. While dogs may represent man’s closest friend, they are still animals that can bite and injure you.