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How Should You Treat a Dog Bite?

Law Offices of James M. Curran

Although dogs are man’s best friends, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people in New Jersey to suffer dog bite wounds. Whether the bite is an attempt at playfulness by your own dog or a malicious attack from an unknown mutt, dog bites can be serious if left untreated.

What is the Main Concern With a Dog Bite?

No matter the size or breed of dog, the number one concern of dog attacks is the risk of infection. When a dog’s front teeth grab and suppress your skin, the result can be an open wound that’s prone to serious infection. Dog bite victims should always see a doctor within eight hours of being bitten. Waiting any longer could increase infection risk.

What Should You Do Immediately After You’re Bitten?

The first thing to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog is to distance yourself from it. This can reduce the likelihood that you’ll be bitten again.

How Can You Treat a Dog Bite?

After being bitten, you should immediately assess the wound to determine the severity. You may be able to administer first aid yourself if the wound is minor. Larger or deeper wounds will require immediate medical treatment. Follow these steps to treat dog bites until you’re able to receive medical attention:

  • Using mild soap and warm water, wash the wound for five to 10 minutes
  • Apply a clean cloth to the wound to slow any bleeding
  • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the wound
  • Use a sterile bandage to seal the wound
  • Keep the bandage on until you’re able to see your doctor

Most importantly, regularly watch for signs of infection. Symptoms could include swelling, redness, tenderness, fever, and significant pain.

Dog owners have a responsibility to make sure their pets don’t attack other people. Individuals who are victims of dog bites should consider scheduling an appointment with an experienced lawyer.

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