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The Dangers of Dog Bites, and How to Seek Treatment

Dogs can be man’s best friend - but they can also be a threat in the wrong situation.

Everyone loves their dogs, and for the most part, other dogs are friendly, too. But sometimes, we come across canines that, for whatever reason, have it in for us.

The result is often a painful and dangerous bite that can send you to the emergency room.

Facts About Dog Bites

Over 90% of all animal bites are caused by dogs, did you know that? Consider all the creatures that may do you harm by biting you; dogs are responsible for the great majority of human bites despite the fact that cats, snakes, and other wildlife also pose a threat.

Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually, and over 20% of those people end up in the emergency department, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is a gender gap in the frequency of bites, with males being bitten more often than women, and children ages 5 to 9 being the most common age group to get a bite. Also, they often need medical attention.

As for the risks associated with dog bites, there are two primary ones. The wound, for starters. Depending on the severity of the bite, a dog's teeth might penetrate the skin and rip through the underlying tissue, requiring medical attention.

Second, there is the possibility of infection. Both tetanus and rabies are transmitted by dog bites, and their treatment is unpleasant and sometimes fatal. It's possible for additional infections to develop.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

  • The first order of business is to get away from the dog that bit you and into a safe location.
  • Then, you need to seek medical treatment, however, you may have to first address the wound itself. A little cut or scrape should be cleaned and bandaged if it's bleeding.
  • Apply direct pressure to the wound and elevate the affected area if feasible if bleeding is moderate to severe.
  • There is no level of injury or illness that justifies avoiding a hospital visit. If your wound is significant, you should visit the emergency department where you may get prompt care. Dog bites may easily develop infections, so it's important to be checked out by a doctor if you've been bitten and there are any signs of injury (such as puncture wounds, bleeding, rips, or lacerations).
  • There may be no need to see a doctor if you have just a minor bruise and no lacerations. Keep an eye out for the usual symptoms of an infection: heat, redness, discomfort, and discharge of fluid.

Should You Call a Lawyer?

You shouldn’t call a personal injury attorney if the dog bite isn’t serious. Only call a lawyer if you have to seek medical treatment for a serious dog bite injury.

Serious injuries may result in missed work, lost wages, medical bills, and physical/emotional suffering. If any of this is true, a lawyer can help you get compensated for your injury and your suffering.

Make sure to document as much as you can - the time and place of the bite, the owner of the dog and person who was responsible, the severity of the injury, any medical treatment you have received, and the impact the injury has had on your life.

If you need help, talk to a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process.

Ready to work together? Contact us today for a free consultation.


If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.