After being bitten by a dog, you should go to the doctor to ensure that you receive a prompt diagnosis and any necessary treatment. The urgency of a doctor’s visit after you were bitten may also depend on the severity of the bite, the location of the injury, your familiarity with the dog, and your own health history. When in doubt about when you should go to the doctor after a dog bite, a prompt visit to a healthcare professional is often a good idea.
If you were bitten by another person’s dog, they could be liable for the costs of that injury. Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets from biting or attacking others. If the owner neglected to prevent an accident from happening, they could be responsible for paying your healthcare costs.
Dog Bites Can Be Severe
When a dog bites an unsuspecting person, the wound can leave serious damage. If the victim is a child, the results can be fatal. It can be painful, frightening, and confusing to be bitten by a dog, especially when you are not expecting it. Watching a loved one get attacked can also be an overwhelming experience. It is important to try and stay calm to evaluate what steps to take next.
Dog bites are common in the United States. In fact, they are one of the top 15 non-fatal injuries seen in emergency rooms across the country, according to the journal Heliyon. The victims are often children. Many people have to visit the emergency room to deal with their dog bites. Heliyon notes these visits are commonly undertaken to address bites on the head, neck, and hands.
There are some simple first aid steps that can be taken at home, including washing the area and applying pressure if there is bleeding. Consider the following factors when deciding whether to visit a doctor right away.
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The Severity of the Bite
The top concern when it comes to dog bites is infection. According to the Cleveland Clinic, half of all dog bites introduce harmful bacteria to a person’s system. If the bite is deep, bleeding excessively, or the injury looks severe, seek medical care right away. The area should be cleaned well to avoid an infection, which could be very serious.
Location of the Bite
The location of the bite makes a difference when it comes to what medical attention will be needed. Many children are bitten near the face or head. The risk of infection is always a concern, but these locations present a risk of scarring as well. Visiting a medical professional can help the area to heal properly and prevent a large scar.
Familiarity with the Dog
Dog attacks can happen with family pets who we know and love. It can also happen with a strange dog who bites for no apparent reason at all. If the dog is unfamiliar to you, you cannot be sure that they have been vaccinated appropriately. If this is the case for you, you should visit a doctor promptly to possibly have a rabies shot. A feral dog or a strange dog can carry rabies and pass it on through a bite.
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Your Health History
Your own health history can come into play when considering the severity of a dog bite. If you have a health condition that compromises your immune system, you could be more likely to suffer an infection from a dog bite. It is also important to consider your vaccination history. You may need a tetanus shot or a booster if the wound is very dirty or very deep. Speak with your doctor about your infection risk to evaluate what kind of treatment is needed.
Symptoms to Monitor
If you opt not to visit the doctor right away, you should monitor the bite for signs of a problem. The Mayo Clinic notes that a victim should watch for swelling, increased pain, or redness in the area of the bite. These symptoms could indicate an infection, which needs to be dealt with right away.
A victim or a witness to the attack should consider all the above when thinking about when you should go to the doctor after a dog bite. It is important to seek proper care for this type of injury.
You Can Speak with Our Team About Your Case
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog and injured, you may be able to seek compensation from the owner. It is the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog from harming people. They could be liable in your case. The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is available to speak with you more.
Call a team member for a free consultation at (404) 888-8888 to get the process started. You can tell us the details of your accident, and we can tell you how you can proceed. You will not owe us anything unless we settle your case. Call today to speak with us.