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Lacerations, Bites, and Punctures: What to Do After a Dog Bite


If you're bitten by a dog, there are some steps you need to take to treat your injuries and help yourself through this situation. First, you need to seek medical assistance. If the dog can be contained, keep the dog for testing. If it is a pet with a collar, the owner and police should be called. You'll want to obtain the dog's vaccination records as soon as possible.

For your wounds, keep them elevated. They will likely need to be cleaned out at the hospital, so you should either call for emergency care or head to the hospital. If you can, wash out the wound with tap water and keep it compressed to prevent blood loss.

Any time you suffer a laceration, you must seek medical attention. Even if you don't think the wound is bad, you've been exposed to bacteria and potentially viruses that could be dangerous or even fatal. For instance, if the dog hasn't had a rabies vaccine, you could be exposed to rabies. Without treatment, rabies is fatal in nearly every case. Even if that's not what you've been exposed to, you could suffer pain and infection from bacteria in the wound.

When your wound is cleaned, it will most likely be anesthetized and sutured shut to lower the risk of further infection. After this, you'll want to be in contact with the owner of the dog to make sure you can file a claim. You may be able to file with the owner's insurance or may need to file a civil lawsuit in court. Our website has more information about the next steps you need to take.