Did you know that in 2016 there were over 4 million dog bites in the United States? Although dogs are considered man's best friend sometimes there are accidents when there are loose aggressive dogs while you are on a walk, bike riding, or jogging. When a dog attacks you might not know what to do or the right course of action if you are attacked by a dog.
Keep reading to learn what steps to take if you are ever in this situation.
It is a good idea to report the dog bite to the police in case you ever need evidence that the dog attack did happen. The police will need details such as the dog owner's name and address, and the name of the dog and its breed.
Do not forget to take pictures of the injury to have as proof of what the dog bite looked like initially. When you are writing up the account of the attack make sure to be as detailed as possible.
The next thing you want to do is get your bite checked out as soon as possible, no matter how small the wound appears to be. Even the tiniest of scrapes can lead to an infection or other problems. A medical professional will be able to tell if the bite is worse than it looks and will properly clean it up for you.
You might end up needing stitches if the wound is deep enough. The doctor might also recommend antibiotics if they feel that your wound can end up with an infection. If you were bitten by a stray dog you run the risk of having rabies transferred which is something else they will check for at a hospital.
A dog's mouth can be full of bacteria which is the doctor's main concern. The most common bacteria include staphylococcus, capnocytophaga, and pasteurella. These germs are what lead to bacterial infections if the skin is broken during the bite.
The doctor will ask you when you had your last tetanus shot because this is a concern when it comes to the bacteria found in a dog's mouth. If you are an adult they might recommend a tetanus booster to help fight off any infection.
If you are attacked by a large dog you might end up with a broken, fractured, or splintered bone. A doctor might have to give you an x-ray to confirm whether or not you have any broken bones or a fractured bone.
Although suffering from muscle damage and nerve damage is not as common when it comes to dog bites, it can happen. If the bite is deep enough it can damage the blood vessels under the skin or the nerves and the muscles.
Even when the wound seems small and it only has puncture marks if the dog hits the right spot you can end up with more damage than you thought.
We touched on rabies earlier but want to go over the consequences of leaving rabies untreated. A medical professional will check for rabies if you have been bitten by a dog that you do not know about their vaccination history. Rabies will affect the central nervous system which can lead to death within only a few days.
If you notice that the dog you were bitten by was acting erratically or was foaming at the mouth, make sure to tell the nurses and doctors. They will be able to confirm whether or not you were affected by rabies. The great news is that this fatal condition is 100% preventable as long as medical treatment is received quickly.
Although death is rare from a dog bite, it is not impossible and it has happened. Usually, children, unfortunately, are more prone to death from a dog bite than adults are. It is estimated that 70% of deaths that are related to dog bites are kids that are 10 years old and under.
If you find out that your injury is worst than you thought and you have to continue paying for ongoing medical treatment for your injuries, then it is a sign to seek legal help. A personal injury lawyer can help you with compensation for any time you had to miss from work, all of your travel and medical expenses related to the injury, and any other costs you incur due to the injury.
Professionals like Preszler Law of Halifax will fight hard for you to make sure that you are even compensated for any psychological trauma that you were caused.
How to Act Around Unfamiliar Dogs
If you find yourself around unfamiliar dogs avoid eye contact with the dog and move slowly and smoothly. Speak softly and do not start to yell. You want to keep your body posture straight and not do any sudden movements that will make the dog feel the need to attack you.
This will help the dog know that you are not a threat and will hopefully keep them from attacking you.
Now You Are Prepared If a Dog Attacks You
Knowing what to do when a dog attacks might help you or a loved one in the future. Although dog owners are responsible for their canine companions sometimes things can happen. This is why you want to always be on the lookout if you tend to go out on walks around your neighborhood.
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