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What should I do if I'm Bitten by a Dog?

Fierce dog with mouth open and spike collar

What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog?

First, clean the wound site. Studies show that if the dog is rabid, cleaning of the site markedly reduces the transfer of rabies. Of course, if the dog is vaccinated or located and analyzed for rabies that issue can be resolved rather quickly. If the dog is not located you might need rabies shots regardless of whether you washed the wound. Another reason to wash is to avoid the transfer of tetanus. Tetanus is caused by a bacteria and we all know that washing fights bacteria. You can also get a tetanus shot right after a dog bite.

Your local police and/or animal control will locate the dog that bit you and assess whether the dog has rabies.  You need to make a police report to document what happened.  Otherwise, later it will be your word against the other person.  Also, take lots of pictures showing where the event happened and what injuries you suffered.  If there are any witnesses make sure the police know who they are and you should get their names and contact information as well.

The big issue with dog bites is scarring. Dogs often grab on and shake their “prey” during an attack. This disrupts and tears the flesh in ways that often lead to scarring. Certainly infection makes the problem worse so cleaning the wound and obtaining prompt care is critical.

Scar treatment requires a specialist and can involve surgeries, lasers, skin grafts and other techniques that can minimize but rarely if ever completely hide the injury.

Nerve and muscle damage are also possible. This is especially true if the dogs fangs penetrate deeply.

Our office represents people victimized in dog attacks. These are increasingly frequent and there are many repeat offenders. If you have been bitten, please seek immediate medical help. To obtain compensation for your dog bite injuries, call attorney Daniel Horowitz. Remember that dog bite cases, like car accidents, can create the right of you, the injured person, to receive payment for your pain, suffering, scarring and medical expenses.