Dog Bite Procedure

Dogs Are Fantastic Pets

Dogs bring companionship and a great deal of joy to a lot of people, but not every dog is friendly. If a dog does not belong to you or you are not it’s handler then you need to be respectful of the dog and the wishes of it’s master.

Today, there are about 75 million dogs in the U.S.A. About 4.7 million dog bites are reported each year. That means that about 6.5% of dogs will bite a human seriously enough to be reported. Out of those 4.7 million reported bites, about 800,000 or one out of six is severe enough to need medical attention. So, each year 1% of dogs will bite somebody seriously enough that they need to go to the hospital. And those figures are assuming that each dog bite comes from a dog who has never bitten before. Most dogs are well behaved and aren’t overly aggressive, but people still need to know how to interact with dogs to stay safe around them and prevent being injured by a dog bite. Most bites are not the result of vicious and aggressive dogs, but rather the result of people who are not aware of the boundaries of dogs. Dogs will bite when they feel threatened or scared and they will bite in self-defense.


Dog Bites Are Easy To Avoid

Most dog bites don’t need to happen in the first place. Knowing the boundaries of dogs and what makes them feel scared is the best way to prevent them. You should never pet a dog when it is eating or when it is sleeping. Dogs are animals and their first concern is self-defense. A dog is defenseless when sleeping, so if it is startled it’s natural reaction is to bite. This bite is a natural reaction that a dog has no control over and may not even know that it’s doing. Another way to avoid being bitten is to refrain from putting your hands over a dogs head, particularly if you are not familiar with the animal. A dog’s neck is a place they consider vulnerable and they will instinctively try to protect it. Putting your hand over a dog’s head can very easily be seen by the animal as a threat. Another thing that dogs take as a threat or challenge is direct eye contact. With dogs that you are not familiar with it is best to avoid direct eye contact as the dog may take it as a challenge. When dealing with a dog that is not yours you should always ask the owner or handler if it is okay to interact with the animal and respect whatever they tell you, even if they tell you “no” or if they ask you to approach the dog in a certain way, you should listen. They know if the dog is well-behaved or not and it is their decision to allow you to interact with their animal. Even smaller dogs can do damage with a bite as there are many forms of bacteria in the mouth of a canine.


Dog Ownership is Responsibility

In most states a dog’s owner is liable if the animal bites. It makes no difference if the dog has never bitten previously or how well it is generally behaved. Dog law usually requires that the owner provide monetary compensation to the victim of a dog bite for medical bills and may require that the dog be quarantined or even put down.


What To Do If You Are a Dog Bite Victim

If you are a dog bite victim you will want to identify the dog who bit you and who the owner is. You should make sure that the dog is up-to-date on all it’s vaccinations. If the dog isn’t, or you were bitten by a dog you can’t identify you may want to get a rabies shot although rabies in dogs is pretty much non-existent now-a-days. If a dog bite is serious enough, or if you can’t identify the dog’s owner to find out if it is up-to-date on vaccinations then you will want to go see a doctor. About 1,000 Americans go to the emergency room for dog bites every day. If you are bitten in the face or you have concerns about disfigurement then you may want to see a plastic surgeon, because emergency rooms are not always concerned with aesthetics. If the bite isn’t serious enough to get you to go to the hospital then be certain that you wash the bite with soap at the very least. Hydrogen peroxide is preferable because dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths and you don’t want to catch an infection. Due to this you shouldn’t stitch a dog bite because you may be trapping bacteria underneath your skin. Just bandage the bite and let it heal on its own. Lastly you should contact a personal injury attorney or an experienced dog bite lawyer. A lawyer will help to protect your rights and to make sure you receive the monetary settlement that you are entitled to.


What You Shouldn’t Do If Bitten By a Dog

When bitten by a dog you should not discuss any financial issues connected to the dog bite until you have talked with a personal injury attorney.  Additionally you should not allow recorded statements or permit others to photograph you. You can however photograph the bite for your own personal records, but you should not allow others to do so. Finally you should not discuss the bite with anybody until you have first talked with a personal injury attorney or a dog bite lawyer.

How To Treat A Dog Bite

Dogs are formidable predators as the capability of the teeth and the jaws to deliver up to 450 pound pressure can create serious injuries. When a dog bites, the sharp teeth will sink in the flesh, the strong jaws will lock creating either deep puncture wounds or serious lacerations. A dog’s teeth and jaws are very powerful so that if the teeth has latched on a limb and cause serious injuries, the victim’s mobility can be impaired for life. A serious dog bite can even kill a person. Wounds are not the only concerns of dog bite victims because when the teeth puncture the flesh infection and disease-causing bacteria are injected on the puncture wounds as well. Rabies is a life threatening disease that results from dog bites.

Because of humans’ constant interaction with dogs, dog bites cannot be totally prevented. Children are the most common victims of dog bites and often times, the kid is bitten by the pet. How do you treat a dog bite?

Dog bite victims have to have first aid to prevent infection but it would be necessary to remove the victim away from the dog first. Lacerations and deep puncture wounds are the two basic types of wounds that can result from dog bites. Because bacteria is injected when the dog sinks the teeth to the flesh, it is common for puncture wounds to get infected. Lacerations are created when dog’s teeth tears away the skin.

Puncture wounds that are not heavy bleeders must be allowed to bleed so that the bacteria will be cleansed from the wound. Lacerations commonly bleed profusely. Bleeding has to be stemmed by applying direct pressure on the wound. To prevent infection, wounds resulting from dog bites must be thoroughly cleaned.

Dog bites can cause skin lacerations that need to be sutured but before taking the victim to a medical facility the bite wound must be cleaned thoroughly as bacteria allowed to stay inside the skin for several hours will have an opportunity to cause infection. Washing the wound with antibacterial soap for about five minutes will lessen the risk of infection. Apply antibiotic ointment and cover with sterile gauze. As expected, a person with dog bite wounds would be in pain. Ice compress applied on the bite wound would reduce the swelling and also lessen the pain.

Rabies would always be a concern with dog bites especially if the immunization status of the dog is unknown. Dog bite victims of stray dogs with an unknown rabies immunization status have to undergo rabies immunization therapy .

Find out more about how to treat a dog bite as well as dog first aid tips for lacerations and puncture wounds at Sarah’s Dogs.