How Can I Treat a Dog Bite?

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million people, both adults, and children are bitten by a dog annually. Around 800,000 of this population seek professional medical treatment, and at least 20 people sustain fatal and life-claiming injuries from dog bites annually. Given the significant percentage of people who sustain dog bites each year necessitates that at least everyone gets to know how to best treat dog bites.

So, whether you are a dog owner, a potential dog owner, or you live or work in a place where doggies are random guests’ or you want to stay in the know on how to treat and care for a dog bite then read on as I got you covered through this article. And if you are also wondering whether there are some dog bite laws and lawsuits, then worry not, as I will be providing you with accurate answers to these 2 questions.

#How to treat a dog bite

Below are some of the scientifically and medically approved ways of treating a dog bite(s);

How to treat a minor bite(s);

Minor dog bites are any bites that leave an individual’s skin unbroken or with very shallow scratches. Minimal bleeding may also occur in this type of bite. Such a bite can be treated by;

  • Carefully examining the bite to determine whether it is a minor bite
  • Immediately wash the bite under running tap water with a mild soap (I recommend using an antibacterial soap). At least spend a minimal of 5 minutes when cleaning the wound
  • With a clean cloth or gauze, wipe the bitten area or wound
  • Applying pressure for 2-3 minutes around the surface of the wound; if bleeding persists
  • Applying a thin layer of a medically approved antibiotic cream or ointment in a circular motion
  • Covering the wound with a clean bandage
  • Practicing hygienic wound cleaning and dressing until the wound heals

If you last received a tetanus vaccine more than 5 years ago, it’s medically advisable that you immediately get another tetanus vaccine booster. In case you experience persistent and increasing pain in the bite area with associated swelling, redness, warmth, and oozing of pus, then the chances are high that you have an infection and are in need of prompt medical attention.

How to treat a major bite(s);

Major dog bites are any bites that leave an individual’s skin broken and with deep scratches or punctures that are more than 2cm in length and depth. It may also involve crushing or breaking an individual’s joints and bones. These types of bites are also characterized by significant bleeding. Such bites can be treated by;

  • Immediately calling in for help
  • Applying firm pressure on the wound to stop bleeding
  • If you suspect that you have a broken bone or joint, try and minimize your movements until help arrives

#Tips on how to care for dog bites

Below are some of the easy and practical ways how to care for a dog bite;

  • Ensure that you keep the bite wound dry and clean
  • Check out for any signs of infection in the wound
  • Apply medically certified antibacterial ointments and cream to the wound as instructed by a medical practitioner

#What are some of the dog bites laws?

Below are some of the constitutionally recognized laws concerning do bites in most USA states;

  • A dog bite victim is to be compensated through the dog  owner’s homeowners or renters
  • A ‘one bite rule’ law stands where it protects the dog owner from being liable to compensating a dog bite victim if they didn’t know that their dog intended to bite the victim
  • A dog owner is to be held liable if they don’t actively stop or prevent their dog from biting an individual
  • It’s possible, though very rare, for a burglar to be compensated for a dog bite

#Is there any dog bite lawsuit?

Yes, there is a legally recognized lawsuit when it comes to a dog bite(s) in the USA.

Stay safe! Know how to best treat a dog bite today

Immediately cleaning a dog bite with running water and mild soap, applying pressure on a bleeding wound, applying topical ointment, covering the wound with a clean bandage, and checking out for signs of infections are some of the effective ways of treating and caring for minor dog bites.

Calling in for help, applying pressure on the bite wound, and minimizing your movement in case you suspect you have a broken joint or bone are the must-dos in case you sustain a major dog bite. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with both dog bite laws and lawsuits just to be on the safer side.