Dogs are friendly, loyal, and protective and establish a solid relationship with their owners. Unfortunately, there are situations when they could become aggressive and cause serious injuries. Aside from causing bleeding wounds and infections, attacks from aggressive dogs can cause permanent scarring of the dogs, severe psychological trauma, or even death.
7 Things You Need to Do Following a Dog Bite Incident
Most dog bites happen during the summer when people spend much time with pets outdoors when dogs are surrounded by other dogs with whom they are unfamiliar. Being protective, they could attack other dogs and even the owners. When that happens, the first thing you should do is stay calm and not panic. With a good lawyer, you can get compensation for dog bite injuries, but first, you must take care of the wound.
Stop the bleeding
Depending on the type of dog and the jaw strength, the wound after a dog bite could significantly bleed. It will be perfect to have an emergency kit, bandages, gauze, or a towel. If you are in a park or open space, you can use a cloth to stop the bleeding. Reinspect the wound occasionally to see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Clean and dress the wound
Although you have stopped the bleeding, the wound remains unprotected from bacteria and infection. Use warm water and soap to disinfect the area around the damage or injury. Remember that the larger the wound, the deeper the bacteria can penetrate the skin and tissue, causing severe problems.
Resolving the bleeding problem and preventing infection with staphylococcus, streptococcus, and capnocytophaga, common infections after a dog bite, is crucial. The disease can sometimes appear a day or two after the accident, especially in children and older adults.
Learn about the signs of infections.
Although only 16% of dog bite injuries become infected if you do not treat it well, it is still a high percentage. Therefore, you should learn to recognize infection in time before it becomes hazardous. Among the common signs are:
- Pain and tenderness around the bite
- Blistering around the bite
- Swelling and redness of the skin
- Pus draining from the wound
- Loss of mobility or sensation in the wounded area, along with muscle aches
- Fever and fatigue
Get information from the dog’s owner
Once you have ensured the wound is clean and safe, you should take legal action to preserve compensation for the bite. First, you must learn more about the dog’s owner – where they live, their name, and contact information. Also, inform if the dog got all vaccines, mainly to prevent rabies, and learn more about the dog’s health status.
Take pictures of the injuries and speak to the witnesses
Photographs are crucial in having proper proof of a dog bite and the harm you have suffered. You should take those photos immediately after the incident from different angles and poses. If you cannot take these pictures properly, ask friends to take them. Having a witness to the incident would help describe the whole situation in detail.
Notify animal control
Finally, informing animal control about the incident is crucial to protecting the community from potentially dangerous animals. This step will prevent avoiding the legal consequences that the pet’s owner can try to accomplish. Ensure you have noted vital details such as the incident’s date, time, and location. All these steps should prepare you for taking all legal steps after a dog bite.