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Most of us are dog lovers and don't stop to think about dog bites until it's too late. Unfortunately, I've been bitten by a dog a few times in my life. I have 3 instances that immediately come to mind. Two of the reasons I was bit are my own fault for various reasons. I will very briefly describe the 3 times I've been bitten by a dog.
- I was a very young child walking down the sidewalk with my mom. I tripped and fell and for some reason thought it was a good idea to pull on a dog's ears as leverage to get back up. The dog obviously was in distress and bit me. I have scars on my right cheek to this day from it.
- I was horsing around with a friend of mine and his dog thought I was hurting him. The dog went into protective mode and bit me. He barely broke the skin.
- As a young teenager, I use to have a paper route. One of my customers had their dog tied up in the yard but we too close to their walkway. The dog, unfortunately, bit me, and in the butt as I was leaving! Talk about a pain in the butt that day.
Did you know a dog bite should be taken seriously?
Dog bites can result in far more painful and long-lasting injury than some people might expect. Even a single bite by a dog can result in serious muscle and tissue damage, or serious infections during the recovery process. It can cause long-term nerve damage to the hands that make working difficult, sometimes enough to require a permanent change in career. A more aggressive attack can mean even more serious damage to the body, which may require extensive medical treatments and physical therapy.
People ask us all the time if our dog Krypto bites. Although he's very friendly and we've never seen him show any signs of aggression, we are still careful because all dogs have that potential given the situation.
Dog's usually bite when they are upset or scared by the situation or person. We should always take care of our pet's emotional needs. What can cause a sudden upset? Perhaps you moved recently? If a dog is in a new environment their routine is changed and it will take them some time to get into a new routine.
Another reason is if someone (usually a child) tries to grab their toy from them wanting to play. Dog's become very territorial over their toys. You should NEVER try to grab a toy from a dog's mouth in order to play. We make Krypto drop the toy before we'll throw it.
How do you treat a dog bite after the fact?
- Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
- Try to keep the injured area elevated.
- Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury every day to prevent infection.
- When you visit the doctor, be prepared to answer a few questions, including:
- Do you know the owner of the dog?
- If so, is the dog up to date on all vaccinations, including rabies?
- Did the bite occur because the dog was provoked, or was the dog unprovoked?
- What health conditions do you have? People with diabetes, liver disease, illnesses that suppress the immune system, and other health conditions may be at greater risk for a more severe infection.
If your injury from a dog bite is severe, you may need to seek legal counsel. Personal injury attorney Tampa is such a type of counsel. Be sure to check with legal counsel in your area if you are not from Tampa.