What should I do if a dog bites me?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2020 | Dog Bites

If a dog attacks you and injures you, it is essential that you act quickly to avoid additional attacks and to safeguard your health. Dogs can carry diseases they can transmit to humans, so you have to seek medical care right away. 

The Cleveland Clinic explains that the biggest risk of a dog bite is infection, so what you do right after an attack can help to prevent infection. 

Initial first aid 

Unless you are right near a hospital, it will take some time to get to medical care. In the meantime, you should wash the wound with soap and water. For a complete wash, you want to keep running water over it for at least five minutes. 

If your wound is bleeding, press a clean cloth or bandage over it with light pressure. Once the bleeding stops you can apply an antibiotic cream and wrap it in a bandage. 

Next steps 

You should seek a doctor’s care within eight hours whether you think the bite is severe or not. Keep it covered until you see your doctor. He or she will likely apply a new covering and give you further instructions about changing the bandage and apply medication if any. 

You also will need to watch for signs that infection has set in. These include an increase in pain, redness or swelling. You may also develop a fever. 

If you have not had a tetanus shot within the last five years, your doctor may send you to get one. If there is a possibility the dog was carrying rabies, you may have to undergo additional treatments and shots to help prevent the disease.