How to Prevent Infection and Treat Injuries After a Dog Bite
Dogs are usually considered everyone’s best friend, but they can quickly become part of your worst nightmare if you, your child, or a loved one gets bitten by a dog.
Every year, dogs bite about 4.7 million Americans, and half of those victims are children between ages 5 and 9. Unfortunately, these attacks are especially common in mostly-rural states like Oklahoma where dog owners often let aggressive animals roam without a leash and without supervision.
If you or a family member has been bitten, the first thing you’re probably worried about is rabies or some other type of viral or bacterial infection. It’s a valid concern, so to help, we’ve provided some information below about how you can treat wounds and prevent infections after a dog bite.
Keep in mind that this article is intended only as helpful information, and the content we’ve provided here (or any similar content on the web) should never be substituted for the advice of a medical professional. Anyone who’s been bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog or other animal should see a doctor for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite
Home care is no substitute for seeing a doctor after a dog bite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help. If the dog bite is serious and the victim is bleeding severely or is otherwise badly injured, then you should call 911 immediately. If the victim seems stable and not in imminent danger after the bite, then you may be able to provide first aid using the following steps before taking them to an emergency room or urgent care center:
- Put a clean towel on the injury and apply pressure to stop any bleeding.
- If the bite occurred on an arm or leg, try to keep that limb elevated to reduce bleeding.
- Wash the bite carefully and thoroughly with warm soapy water.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the bite wound.
- Put a sterile bandage on the wound.
When you visit the doctor, they’ll want to know as much as you can tell them about what happened. Be sure to give them any details you can, including whether you knew the dog or its owner and how the incident happened.
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Bite Infection?
It’s important to know and watch out for the symptoms of infection after a dog bite. Your doctor may have prescribed antibiotics and recommended other measures to prevent infection, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to monitoring yourself or your family member for complications after a serious dog bite.
Signs and symptoms of a dog bite infection may include:
- Redness, pain, swelling, and/or inflammation at the site of the bite
- Tenderness in the area around the bite
- Numbness or loss of sensation in the tissue around the bite
- Stiffness or loss of mobility in the digits or limb where the bite occurred
- Pus or other fluid oozing from the wound
- Red streaks on the skin near the bite
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever or chills
- Chronic fatigue
- Night sweats
- Trouble breathing
- Muscle weakness or tremors
If any of these symptoms show up after a dog bite, follow up with your doctor right away, even if you or your loved one already received treatment for the injury.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Dog Bite?
If you, your child, or another family member suffered serious injuries from a dog bite or dog attack, you should schedule a consultation about your case with an experienced dog bite lawyer right away. You shouldn’t have to pay for expensive medical bills and lost wages because an irresponsible owner failed to control their aggressive dog, and an attorney may be able to help you get compensation to address these costs.
At Atkins & Markoff, we offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis so there’s no risk to talking with us about your dog bite case. If you don’t have a case, then an experienced attorney can tell you at no charge and you can move on knowing that you did what you could. However, dog owners are almost always liable under Oklahoma law for injuries caused by their dogs, so if you or a loved one has been seriously hurt, it’s very likely that you do have a strong case.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better, since the most important evidence in your case needs to be gathered and preserved right after the bite happens. If you wait too long to contact a lawyer, it might be difficult to prove exactly what happened. And the statute of limitations could also prevent you from filing a claim and getting fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact Atkins & Markoff if You’ve Suffered a Dog Bite Injury in Oklahoma
A dog attack can be a scary and traumatic experience, and you may not know where to turn for help afterward. The experienced dog bite lawyers at Atkins & Markoff have handled cases for many victims in Oklahoma who have suffered serious injuries due to dog bites. We’re ready to listen to your story with compassion, and if we’re able to take your case, we’ll fight for you with an aggressive and efficient approach that puts your needs first.
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog or other animal, schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney from the Atkins & Markoff team by calling 405-607-8757 or filling out our quick and easy online contact form. We handle all personal injury cases on a “no recovery, no fee” basis, so there’s no risk to speaking with one of our attorneys today.
Animal bite infections. (n.d.). Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/animal-bite-infections
Dog bites. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved from https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-bites
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.