It’s true that we’re a nation of animal lovers, and there’s very few of us who can resist stroking a neighborhood cat or telling your next-door neighbor’s dog that they’re a good boy when you pass him on the way to work every day. But the last thing you expect is to be attacked and bitten by an animal, especially when you’re not being threatening or even keeping a safe distance from them!
A dog bite can happen for a number of reasons, the dog could be a puppy and they could be looking for something to gnaw their puppy teeth on, perhaps the dog in question is roughhousing and has gotten a little excited, perhaps the dog feels threatened and is being defensive, or in some cases the reason is completely unknown. Regardless of the reason behind the bite, being bitten by a dog is a frightening experience to say the least. And there are a specific set of instructions you should follow first!
If you’ve been bit by a dog in Lafayette, click the link.
Read on to find out what you should do after a dog bite.
Assess what kind of bite it is
You might need medical attention but assessing the type of bite you have is your first step. If you’re bleeding profusely and the dog has caused damage then you should call 911 as soon as possible and ask for assistance. If the wound is in your head or neck then you should also seek medical attention.
Superficial wounds, such as grazes, nips and surface cuts can be treated at home, with running water and a bandage but you should still seek medical attention.
Think about rabies
Do you know the dog? Do you know it’s owner? If the dog is unknown to you then you need to seek medical attention for the possibility of rabies. You should also call animal control if the dog appears to be a stray.
Speak with the owner
If you know the owner or if the owner is present then you need to exchange contact details and get proof of their dogs’ rabies vaccinations. Try to remain calm, the owner may try to place blame on you and try not to accept liability or fault at this stage.
Contact the police and animal control
If the bite is severe or you were attacked you should call the police and notify them of the incident. The dog owner needs to take the steps necessary to prevent this from happening again, so animal control should also be contacted.
Consider seeking legal action
If the attack was sustained, vicious and the dog wasn’t acting in self-defense, then you may want to consider seeking legal action against the owner. Dog bites can be incredibly debilitating, not just physically – which could leave you unable to work and provide for your family – but the mental implications of a dog bite are far-reaching and that’s something a personal injury lawyer will be able to ascertain for you in court.