Dogs are adorable companions and people often share countless endearing moments with their dogs. However, it may also have its risks and you should be well aware of those. Even if your furry friend is absolutely healthy and has been sharing a playful time with you or a friend or family, sometimes an innocent bite happens. Your dog has a very sharp pair of canines that can give a scratch quite easily or leave a gnarly bite mark. It may also be an incident where you are strolling down the street and suddenly, a street dog attacks and bites you. It is possible and definitely a situation calling for immediate medical attention.
Does a Dog Bite Call for a Medical Emergency?
As a matter of fact, it is a medical emergency and should be attended to with great care and urgency. It is one of the most pressing questions and people often find themselves at a loss when it comes to giving first aid in such a situation. Whether it is your pet that has been the culprit or if you are the victim of a street dog, you need to take certain steps in order to minimize the potential risk of infection. You will also require treatment from a trained medical professional the very same day, but first aid comes first for a reason and can make a huge difference when it comes to recovery.
The front teeth of a dog are primarily for compressing and grabbing on tissue, and the smaller teeth do the tearing. So, whoever is the victim of a bite definitely ends up with a very painful and open wound (not a pretty sight either) because the sharp canines leave nothing to chance. The wound from a bite can easily get an infection and this is why you need to attend to it as soon as possible.
Other Implications Beyond the Physical Injury
It could be a situation where you are the victim of a dog bite, or it may be that your dog has been the culprit and someone else got injured. Either way, you have to be well aware of the possible legal implications of this situation. It may come as a surprise to some people that an incident like a dog bite can incur any legal implications at all, but you have to be cautious.
Different states have very specific laws that tend to such instances of animal attacks. For instance, it is very common in Denver, Colorado for house owners to have pet dogs but the State makes the owner completely liable for any harm caused by their pets. So, if you ever face such a situation, you should be quick to reach out to a dog bite attorney in Denver, Colorado because they are specialized and experienced in this very domain. You should not put this off and neither take this lightly because this situation involves serious legal implications and may cost you a lot. So, seek the right advice in a timely manner.
How to Respond
If it is possible to do so, just rush to the nearest health care center (if it is close by). You may require IV antibiotics or hospitalization (or both). As a first-aid procedure, always start by washing the wound with some mild soap and then let warm tap water run over it for about 10 minutes. Try to slow down the bleeding with the help of a clean cloth.
You may also consider applying an over-the-counter antibiotic cream but if you are not too sure about this, skip this step. After that simply use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound. While doing all of this, the only goal is to slow down the damage while you are going to the doctor. It does not mean that you are going to tend to the wound at home and it definitely does not warrant skipping the medical treatment solely.
Once you have received the required medical treatment, you must follow all the instructions and ensure that the bandages stay clean (it is a good practice to change them often). You must be attentive towards any possible signs of infection, like swelling on the wound site, redness or fever, or increased pain.
According to an estimate about half the problems of a dog bite are because of the bacteria and dogs that have not been vaccinated pose a risk of rabies as well. So, you have to be cautious when such a situation arises and make sure to gather some information about the vaccination history of the dog (in case you are the victim) because the healthcare provider will require this information.