Dog Bite Treatment, Prevention, Infections

You’re playing with your dog, and somehow, between grunts and tail wags, a dog bite can occur. Those canine teeth can bite or scratch. Or alternatively, you could be strolling down a street and an unknown dog can strike without warning.

Either way, there are steps you need to take immediately to treat the dog bite injury and lower the risk of infection. You’ll need professional medical attention the same day of the dog bite.

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Dog Bite Definition and Facts

  • Dog bites estimate for up to 90% of all animal bites. About 5 million dog bites occur every yearin the U.S., and about 27,000 victims require reconstructive surgery after a dog bite.
  • Injuries after a dog bite may involve structures deep under the skin, including nerves, muscles, bones, and blood vessels.
  • Infections, including tetanus and rabies, need to be examined after a dog bite.
  • Wound cleaning decreases the risk of infections from dog bites.

Dog Bite Treatments

Although you can provide first aid for a dog bite at home, it's essential to see a doctor, especially if the dog bite is deep, you can't stop the bleeding, or there are any signs of infection (redness, inflammation, warmth, discharge). Dog bites can cause infections that demand to be treated with antibiotics .

To care for a dog bite injury at home:

  • Put a clean towel over the dog bite injury to prevent any bleeding.
  • Try to keep the bite injury area raised.
  • Wash the bite completely with soap and water.
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the affected dog bite area.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the bite injury every day to stop infection.

When you visit the doctor, be ready to answer a few questions involving your dog bite, including:

  • Do you know the owner of the dog that bit you?
  • If so, is the dog up to date on all vaccinations, including rabies?
  • Did the bite happen because the dog was provoked, or was it an unprovoked dog bite attack?
  • What health circumstances do you have? People with diabetes, illnesses that suppress the immune system, and other health circumstances may be at higher risk for a more severe infection after a dog bite attack.

Dog Bite Treatment Steps

1. Wash the dog bite injury with soap and warm water.

2. Gently hold a clean cloth over the dog bite wound to stop the flow of blood.

3. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the dog bite wound.

4. Cover the bite with a clean bandage.

5. Observe for signs of infectionafter the dog bite.

6. Seek aid if you anticipate infection or possible exposure to rabies, or if the dog bite wound is severe.

When to Visit a Doctor After a Dog Bite

People should seek emergency medical care for a dog bite if they have:

  • uncontrollable bleeding from the dog bite injury
  • a fever
  • a red, swollen, or painful dog bite wound
  • a dog bite wound that feels warm
  • a dog bite wound that feels warm
  • a deep dog bite cut and have not had their tetanus shot in the last 5 years

If a person believes that a dog bite has resulted in injury to the nerves or bones, they should seek emergency treatment. Emergency treatment is also needed if an infection has reached to other parts of the body due to the dog bite.

People should also seek medical attention if the dog that bit them was behaving strangely, or they are hesitant whether the dog has received a vaccine for rabies.


People may be able to avoid getting an infection from a dog bite if they clean the cut right away. They can keep the wound under running water or use soap and water to rinse the dog bite thoroughly before covering the wound with a bandage to keep the dog bite clean.

For deeper dog bite wounds, the person should consult a doctor, who will clean out the wound with a saline solution and use a dressing.

People should consult their doctor right away if they have any signs of infection around the dog bite wound, such as:

  • redness
  • worsening pain
  • warmth around the wound
  • inflamation
  • discharge from the wound

If the person is at danger of developing an infection from a dog bite, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection. In some instances, people may need a tetanus or rabies vaccine to prevent these types of infection.

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Protecting Your Rights in California

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is essential that you take the steps necessary to preserve you own legal rights. First, it is essential that you seek medical care as soon as possible. Try to identify the dog that bit you so that the owner can be found. Report the dog bite attack to local law enforcement officials. Make sure you get photos of the dog bite injuries. Save evidence such as cut or bloody attire after a dog bite.

Last but not the least, it is important that you contact a Los Angeles dog bite attorney with expertise. They will help preserve your rights and assure that the at-fault parties are held liable.

A skilled and knowledgeable dog bite injury lawyer will act quickly to preserve the evidence, find all the parties involved and get a fair settlement in your case. It would be most helpful not to give specific information to insurance companies about the occurrence.

If you have suffered serious injuries by a dog bite, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable Los Angeles dog bite attorney. There are deadlines for filing a dog bite claim, so it is important that you meet with an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case. For a free assessment, contact us today by calling us at 833-324-7111. You can also submit a case evaluation online.

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