Dogs are usually man’s best friend, but occasionally something might happen that causes them to bite a human, and it’s important to know what to do if you are bitten by a dog – even if it is a rare occurrence.
Administer first aid
The first thing you need to do when you have been bitten by a dog is to, of course, deal with the injuries. It is imperative that you clean the bite immediately to lessen the risk of infection, and stem the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound. If appropriate, apply an antibacterial cream, and cover with a clean bandage. If the blood flow is not stopping, or you think the dog might have rabies, it is vital to get the bite seen by medical professionals, so call an ambulance or get yourself to the emergency room.
Take down information
Although you the adrenaline might be pumping and it can be hard to think straight after a traumatic incident such as this, it is crucial that you get as much information about the dog, its owner, and its medical history as you can. You need to know when it was last vaccinated and take down the name, address, and contact details of the owner and any witnesses that saw the attack. Take photographs of anything that might be relevant later down the line, including pictures of any injuries.
Keep an eye on your cut
Dog bites can get infected, so it is really important that you know what to look for. For example, look at the wound – if it stays swollen and red, or feels warm to the touch, you should seek medical attention. Also, be aware of any pain that exceeds 24 hours from the time of the incident and any difficulty in moving the area of the body that was bitten. You also have to be aware of any signs that the infection has spread elsewhere in the body, such as shaking, a high fever, or night sweats. If anything doesn’t seem right, be sure to get seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Any sort of traumatic event can leave you feeling shaken and exhausted. Being bitten by a dog might really knock your confidence and leave you feeling anxious and distrustful. You should speak to someone you trust about how you are feeling and keep checking in with yourself, mentally and physically. Don’t feel as though you have to carry on with your normal activities or tasks right away, even if the bite didn’t break the skin. Be kind to yourself.
Luckily, dog bites aren’t that common. However, we can never know how someone else is raising their dog, and at the same time, a normally docile dog may bite someone completely out of the blue. It may be caused by a dog who is unwell or in pain or even a dog who has gotten over excited while playing.