• Jun
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Should I Go to the Hospital for a Dog Bite?

    When you’ve suffered an injury, do you have a tendency to dismiss it as no big deal? Do you brush yourself off, throw a little Neosporin and a BandAid on a scrape or cut, then go on with your day?

    It’s what a lot of us do, and that’s fine in most cases, but if your injury is a dog bite it’s terribly important that you take it seriously and seek medical attention.  You may think that you only need medical attention if the bite is bleeding profusely or has created a tear or trauma that requires stitches, but that is not correct.

    Dog’s jaws are powerful, and their mouths can contain a wide range of bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus and Pasteurella, as well as capnocytophaga. Whether you’ve been bitten by your own dog, a friend or neighbor’s dog or a stray, puncture wounds and trauma need attention. And don’t diminish the impact of a bite that does not break the skin: it can crush tissue and lead to dangerous levels of bruising or internal injuries.

    If you’ve suffered a dog bite, you need to be seen by either your own physician or a healthcare professional in an emergency setting such as an urgent care or a hospital emergency room, and that needs to happen on the same day that the bite takes place because the risk of infection is so great. Depending upon the extent of the injury you may need a prescription or intravenous antibiotics, and it is essential that the treatment begins within 8 hours of the bite having occurred – and even faster if you suffer from a secondary medical condition that puts you at greater risk.

    While particularly traumatic dog bites may require a call to 9-1-1, lesser bites still deserve the same level of concern. The wound should be rinsed for at least 5 or ten minutes with soap and warm water, then covered with antibiotic cream and a sterile bandage. This should be followed immediately by professional medical attention. Be prepared to provide the healthcare professional providing your care with as much information as possible about the dog that bit you, as well as about your own medical history and the date of your last known tetanus shot.

    Whether your injury requires antibiotics, stitches, a hospital stay or surgery, there are likely to be costs in terms of pain and suffering as well as financial implications. If you’ve been bitten by a dog owned by another person you may be eligible for compensation for these expenses. For information on your rights, contact our attorneys today to set up a time for a consultation.



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