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What To Do if You are Bitten by a Dog

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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What should you do if you are bitten by a dog? According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 800,000 people are bitten every year.

Here is a list of steps on what to do if you or your children are ever bitten by a dog:

  • Immediately wash the dog bite wound with soap and warm water. Let the water run freely over the wound. Cover the wound with a clean cloth or towel while you get help.

  • Contact your physician or local emergency room. Dog bites commonly get infected and the safest thing to do is to visit your physical or local emergency room and let them determine the best treatment.

  • If the bite appears to be serious – call the ambulance, 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.

  • Report the bite. Call you local animal control agency. If you are not sure of the agency you need to report the bite – call your humane society and they should be able to advise you on whom to call. Tell the agency everything you know about the dog. Include the owner information if possible, address of the dog location or if he is a stray – indicate the size, color of the dog, where you saw him and direction as to where he went after the bite.

    Here are some articles that might be helpful to you:

    What dogs are most likely to bite?
    What can you do to Prevent Bites?
    Tips to Prevent Bites to Kids

    What are Your Rights During a Dog Bite?

    Dog bite law varies from state to state. Some states hold a dog owner responsible for any bite – even a first time bite. For more information, this sight might be helpful – go to www.dogbitelaw.com. This site indicates some laws but state and your rights as a victim.

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