Have You Been Bitten by a Dog? Here’s What to Do

dangerous doberman

When we think about “man’s best friend,” we often imagine floppy ears, a wagging tail, and loads of kisses. Dogs are known for showing us, unconditional love. Unfortunately, though, not all dogs are so loving. Sometimes dogs can be aggressive and bite people. But regardless of its reason for doing so (prior abuse, neglect, etc.), a dog bite can be very serious. If you have been bitten by a dog, it’s imperative that you know how to treat it. Here’s what to do. 

  1. Treat the Puncture/Wound

After being bitten by a dog, the most important thing to do is get yourself to a safe location where you are no longer at risk of further injury from the dog. Once you are in a safe place, it’s important that you treat your injury. If you experienced a minor bite, it is likely that you can safely treat yourself at home. However, if the bite is more serious, it’s key that you receive medical attention right away. The same thing goes if you find that the area around the bite becomes swollen, red, tender, or warm; if you don’t know when you had a tetanus shot last, you have a fever, or you feel disoriented. The following symptoms indicate that you should seek medical attention immediately. 

  • There is fluid or pus coming from the bite
  • The bite area will not stop bleeding
  • You are in severe pain
  • Your bone, muscles, and/or tendons are exposed
  • You are experiencing loss of function
  • The dog that bit you was behaving erratically
  • The dog that bit you is not up-to-date on its vaccinations
  1. Prevent an Infection by Cleaning the Area

After you have been bitten by a dog, you run a big risk of developing an infection. For this reason, you should be sure to take the proper precautions so that this does not occur. You should be sure to treat the area of the bite even if the bite didn’t break skin. Wash the area with soap and warm water and apply an antibacterial ointment. 

If the bite broke your skin, you should still do the above, but also push on the area of the bite so that you can push any germs out with a bit of blood. However, if you are actively bleeding it’s important to press gently on the wound with a clean cloth. 

  1. Find Out Whether the Dog is Up-to-date on Shots

After treating your injury, the next important step is to find out more information about the dog. You will want to ask the dog’s owner about its medical history to see whether or not it has had its rabies shots. You will also want to try to get the owner’s information including the name of their vet. If you don’t know who the owner is, you may want to get information from any witnesses to see if they have that information.

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Been Injured in a Dog Bite Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite accident, it can have a drastic impact on many aspects of your life. You shouldn’t have to pay for the negligence of someone else. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has experience with dog bite accidents can help to walk you through the process.

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best outcome and compensation that they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

We serve Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County.

Posted in: Personal Injury