• When to See a Doctor after a Dog Bite

    South Jersey Dog Bite Attorneys

    If you tell your friends and acquaintances that you’ve been bitten by a dog, chances are good that you’re going to hear a story about the time that they got bitten, and how it happened, and what the injury was like.  We remember being bitten because it comes as a surprise, and because most of us tend to think of dogs as the proverbial “man’s best friend” rather than as a source of pain, fear or danger. Some dog bites don’t result in injuries as much as in surprise and a resulting healthy respect. Others are more serious and require medical attention. It’s always important to approach an unfamiliar dog with caution, but also to remember that family pets can bite too.

    Dog bites that are minor require attention, including a gentle washing with soap and water, applying pressure if the wound is bleeding, applying a sterile bandage, and keeping the wound elevated. If the wound is not responding quickly, shows signs of infection, or if it came from an unfamiliar dog, you need to seek medical attention. At Jarve, Kaplan, Granato & Starr, LLC, we want you to have a comprehensive understanding of when to see a doctor after a dog bite, as well as about your legal rights in the face of an injury.

    A minor injury that responds quickly to home care probably does not need medical attention, though if the dog in question is unfamiliar and you are not certain that the animal is up to date on its vaccinations, a visit to the doctor is still recommended. However, there are certain instances where you should get care whether you know the animal or not. These include:

    • If the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes of applying pressure
    • If the bite begins showing signs of infection, including warmth, redness, swelling or pus
    • If you believe that the injury may have gone deeper than a surface wound, impacting nerves, muscle, tendon or bone
    • If you have diabetes or any other immune system deficiency
    • If you have not had a tetanus vaccine within the last 5 years
    • If you are not aware of the animal’s vaccination status

    A physician will inspect and treat the wound, providing whatever medical attention is required. This can range from a thorough medical cleaning to administering stitches, prescribing antibiotics, or giving you an updated tetanus shot.

    Many people are concerned that if they have been bitten by an unknown animal, they may require rabies shots. That is a rare occurrence unless the bite comes from a wild animal.

    Treatment of a dog bite may be minor and incidental, but it can be extensive and require surgery. The trauma may go beyond the physical, impacting you emotionally for years to come. If you have suffered a dog bite, it is important for you to understand your legal rights. Contact us online to talk the attorneys at Jarve, Kaplan, Granato & Starr, LLC to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

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