According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 4.7 million victims are bitten by dogs throughout the United States annually. Most people do not realize how dangerous and even fatal being bitten by a stray dog can be. The CDC reported that there were over 60 reported cases of rabies amongst dogs in a recent year alone. If the laceration gets infected or the dog has rabies, it could give rise to severe health complications.
Critical Actions To Take After a Dog Bite
Roughly 1 out of 5 dog bite victims suffer injuries severe enough to require medical treatment. In the most severe cases, dog bites can result in amputation, nerve damage, permanent disfigurement, and death. The first concern with stray dog bites is infections, which may require intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization. That is why the most important thing you can do after getting bitten is see your primary care provider.
Approximately half of all canine bites introduce bacteria into the victim, such as capnocytophaga, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and Pasteurella. Stray and unvaccinated dogs are also notorious for carrying and transferring rabies. Regardless of the circumstances, make sure you seek medical attention within eight hours of the dog bite. Waiting any longer dramatically increases your risk of infection. Additionally, if you are immunocompromised or have diabetes, your infection risk will be significantly greater.
Steps To Treat Your Dog Bite
If you get attacked by a stray dog, your primary concern should be preventing acute bacterial and viral infections. To lower your risk of disease, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s team of dog bite lawyers recommends implementing the following steps:
- Call Animal Control: Report the attack to animal control and provide them with the details to prevent further attacks.
- Wash the Wound: Use mild soap and carefully wash all open wounds and surrounding regions for 5-10 minutes.
- Stop the Bleeding: Place pressure on any deep lacerations with a clean cloth.
- Apply Antibiotic Cream: Be sure to put on antibacterial ointment and cover your gashes with sterile bandages.
- Maintain the Bandages: Keep a dressing on the wound and change it several times per day.
- Watch Out for Signs of Infection: Signs that your bite may be infected include swelling and redness around the scrape, increasing pain, the site feeling warm, pus or liquid oozing out of the cut, developing a fever over 100.3F, enduring the sweats and chills, or the glands in your neck or under the chin becoming swollen.
- Seek Immediate Medical Treatment: As mentioned above, obtaining urgent medical attention is of the utmost importance.
Suppose an unknown canine has bitten you or a loved one. In that case, Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of battle-tested dog bite attorneys may be able to track down the dog’s owner and determine if the animal has a history of aggression. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible at 716-839-3939 or by completing our online consultation form to discuss your dog bite injuries further.