Preventing & Treating Dog Bite Injuries
Children between the ages of five and nine and men are at the most risk of dog bite-related injuries, and most are bit in the home by dogs that are familiar to them. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), families with two or more dogs in their homes are five times more likely to be bitten.
Whether you’ve been bitten by your own dog, someone else’s, or a stray, you need to take specific steps immediately to reduce the chance of infection.
In order to prevent getting injured by a dog:
- When approached by a new dog, remain motionless and avoid direct eye contact. Stand with your side of the body facing the dog;
- If you see a dog behaving strangely, immediately inform your local Animal Control; and
- Avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs, running from them, making loud noises, disturbing them while they are eating, encouraging them to play aggressively, and letting small children play with dogs unsupervised.
What to Do If a Dog Bites You
If you are attacked and/or bitten by a dog:
- Use your jacket or bag to protect yourself from the dog;
- If a dog knocks you over, curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands placed over your neck and ears;
- Immediately wash any wounds with soap and water, apply antibiotic cream, and cover the wound with a bandage. Seek medical attention if you experience extreme pain, uncontrolled bleeding, loss of function, muscle or bone exposure, or if you develop a fever and the round becomes painful, warm, or swollen, and/or if it has been more than five years since your last tetanus shot. If you are experiencing uncontrolled bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding; and
- Try to ascertain whether the dog is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations.
Infection & Diseases
According to the CDC, an average of 18 percent of dog bites become infected with bacteria, and only some can make you sick. The following diseases, however, can be transmitted via dog bites:
- Rabies: although it is rare to contract rabies in the United States, it is a serious disease that affects the brain and is usually fatal, and is spread via the dog’s saliva;
- Pasteurella: present in more than half of infected dog bite wounds and typically causes a red, swollen reaction at the site of the bite. Individuals with compromised immune systems can be more seriously affected and develop joint pain and swelling;
- Capnocytophaga spp: a bacteria that can spread from the saliva of dogs or cats. Although it rarely makes people sick, people compromised immune systems are more prone to being affected;
- MRSA: A type of Staph infection which can cause skin, urinary tract, and/or lung infections in people; and
- Tetanus: can be a problem in deep bite wounds and cause rigid paralysis.
Contact Our Dog Bite Injury Attorneys for Help Today
If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, any pain and suffering, and any additional trauma if there is permanent scarring involved.
At Friedland & Associates, we aggressively represent victims of dog bite attacks. Contact our Fort Lauderdale dog bite & animal attack lawyers today to find out how we can help you.