Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience and have a lasting effect on your perception of dogs or all animals together. Although most dogs are loving and kind, you may one day find yourself in a situation with a not-so-friendly pup. If you or anyone you know is ever bitten by a dog, it is important to keep these few things in mind.
1. Identify the Dog’s Owners
First, identify where the animal has come from. If it is household, then be sure to take note of the address and locate the owners. The owners must be notified of the incident if they are not already when it happens. You also must ask the owners if the dog is up to date with his/her rabies vaccine. If the dog is not vaccinated, you must go to an emergency room immediately. If the owners say the dog is up to date, it is still a good idea to get paperwork from a vet to confirm this.
If you are unsure of the house or area the dog has come from, or feel it may be a stray, then it is smart to contact the local animal control authorities to track down the dog. Animal control authorities can locate the dog and it’s owners, or bring the dog in if it is a stray.
2. Get Treatment
Next, get the necessary treatment for the bite. If you feel you need serious medical attention, then call 911 right away or go into your nearest hospital where you can receive the appropriate care. If the bite is not in dire need of medical attention, then care within your household should be sufficient. Make sure to rinse the wound thoroughly, then use antibacterial soap to discard of any unwanted bacteria or potential infection. Once the wound is clean, use a towel to pat it dry and apply any wound ointment or cream. Keep the wound covered in order to prevent any dirt or germs from infecting the area. Once the wound is no longer open, it is safe to leave it exposed and simply care for it as needed.
3. File a Police Report
If you had not done so already, it is very important to file a notice that you were bitten by the particular dog. The dog may have a history of biting, or you may be the first. In which you are the first, it is important that the community is made aware of the potential threat so no others will be harmed. If you seek financial reimbursement for your medical expenses, then you should contact a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will guide you to file a claim in court and represent you in your case.
It is helpful and comforting to use your experience for spreading prevention efforts around you. Dog bites can be serious and even fatal accidents for anyone, especially children and the elderly. Take notice when walking through neighborhoods or public areas of all those around you and be aware of any loose or stray animals. If you see an animal showing aggression and fear of being bitten, contact you local animal control authorities.
This article was written by Matthew Hall. While Matthew is an animal lover at heart, he is aware of the dangers some animals, especially those whom are mistreated, can pose. He is dedicates himself to informing and educating the public on animal safety and volunteering at local animal shelters. Matthew is also a professional writer for Heil-Law. To learn more about his work, visit his Google+.