Dog bites are extremely serious and affect a lot more people than you may realize, with 39 recorded fatalities to dog bites in the United States in 2017 Not every dog bite ends in a fatality, but even the most minor of bites can be traumatizing, especially if a child is involved.
What Causes Dogs to Attack?
There are several different reasons that a dog may attack, for example they may have been provoked by someone to the point where their natural animal instincts take over their thought process. A dog that is regularly friendly, now feels threatened and/or protective and may bite. One of the most common and often most tragic situations is when kids are playing with the dog and the child ends up getting bit. Since kids are not fully aware of how to interact with animals, they often learn the hard way of what to do and what not to do. Some of the most common ways kids are bitten by dogs:
- The child has a toy the dog wants and the dog accidentally bites the kid trying to get the toy
- The child provokes the dog by pulling the dog’s tail, putting their hands in the dog’s face or putting their own face in the dog’s face
- The child runs past the dog and the dog now thinks that it needs to chase the child, depending on the breed and/or the dog’s training, it may end up trying to bite the child
Why Are Dog Bites So Dangerous?
The most obvious reason that a dog bite is dangerous is because of a canine’s teeth. According to Animal Planet, a national graphic study found that the average dog has 320 pounds of force in their bites. To put that in to comparison, man only has the ability to create 120 pounds of force with a bite, while a great white shark can create up to 600 pounds of force. Combine this force to sharp teeth, the result can be devastating.
Besides the physical aspect of a dog bite being ferocious, they also carry bacteria that can cause serious damage and even death if left untreated. This means you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that the area does not become infected. If you are wanting to know exactly what to put on a dog bite should you get bitten, here is what you should do.
What to Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog
If you have been bitten by a dog to the point that the teeth of the dog have sunk into the skin more than one half of an inch or if the cut is at least 1 inch in length, then you may need to go to the doctor right away. The concern in each of these instances is that the cut may lead to a sufficient amount of bleeding that could cause serious complications later on. In addition, a deep bite almost assuredly means that bacteria and other infectious material are deep within the wound, and you are not likely to be able to clean that out on your own. You will need to take the person who is been bitten, even if that is you, to the doctor get looked at. This may require stitches and will likely require you to receive antibiotics.
Find Out if the Dog Has Been Vaccinated
If you are bitten by a dog and you do not know the dog, then you absolutely need to go to the doctor right away. This dog may potentially have diseases such as rabies and waiting even 24 hours can be life-threatening to you. If you do know who the dog belongs to, you will need to contact them or have the police contact them to ensure that the dog has had its proper shots and that it poses no further harm to you. This is extremely important, because you want to make sure that the dog has had shots, like its rabies vaccination. If it has not, you are potentially in danger.
Minor Situations; What to Put on a Dog Bite
Now that we have covered the worst-case scenarios, let’s address with you the things to do if it is just a simple dog bite. Your dog may have bitten you or a family member, but the cut or bite mark is not that severe and you know the dog has had it’s vaccinations. So, what do you do in instances like this?
The first thing to do is to try to get the person who is bit to calm down. Calming down will bring down the panic, allow both the dog, the victim and everyone else involved to get their wits about them.
Use an Antiseptic
Use an antiseptic to clean the wound thoroughly. At first, it is a good idea if you do not close the wound. Simply wash it with the antiseptic product, let it dry, and then do this again a couple of times over a 30 minute period of time. You want to ensure that you are killing off any potential bacteria that have gotten into the wound, so that you have a lot less to worry about in terms of infection. While this is going on, the person should be seated and attempting to be as relaxed as possible.
Cover the Wound
Ensure that whatever bandage you are using covers all edges of the cut or bite so that there is no portion of it that is visible. It is also a good idea to put a little antibacterial ointment on the cut or bite before placing the bandage over it. Leave the bandage on for 24 hours, then remove and see where the wound is at. If you are noticing over a two or three day period of time that the area is getting increasingly red, then you need to take the person to the doctor right away.
Call Personal Injury Attorney Jared Everton at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.
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