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Dog Bite? Promote Healing and Prevent Infection

If you have been bitten by a dog, an experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. As angry as you may be, your health has to come first. Before you pick up the phone, you need to take care of your wound. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, here is what you should do:

First Aid
Basic First Aid rules apply to dog bites. If you have been bitten, cover the wound with a clean towel and apply pressure. Hold pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding will not stop, hold the wound above your heart. Blood has to work harder to move upwards.

Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the wound with cool water and soap. Bandage the wound to keep it dry. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound daily and cover it with a clean bandage. Please note that this only applies to superficial bite wounds.

See a Doctor
For puncture wounds or multiple wounds, you will need to visit a doctor. Allow the physician to care for the wound and be sure to follow the instruction you are given. When you visit the doctor, you should be prepared to answer several questions.

Typically, you will be asked if you know who owns the dog. You will also be asked if you have knowledge as to the dog’s vaccination status. If you have health conditions that the doctor is unaware of, be sure to mention them. Underlying conditions may change the way that you are treated for the dog bite.

In many cases, people get very nervous of having to get a rabies shot. It is very rare for a dog to have rabies in the United States. If the dog is current on rabies vaccines, chances are incredibly slim that you will need to undergo vaccinations yourself. If, on the other hand, the dog has not had routine vaccinations, you are unable to determine the health status of the dog, or if the dog tests positive for rabies, you will need to be vaccinated.

If you decide to take care of a dog bite on your own, watch very closely for any signs of infection. If you develop a fever, the area of the bite swells, the skin surrounding the bite turns bright red, or pus begins to leak from the wound, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Dog bites can be very serious because of the bacteria introduced into your system. If you are unsure of whether your dog bite needs medical attention, air on the side of caution and see a physician.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.