Large dogs can bite with a force of 450 pounds per square inch. The area of the body where the attack occurs can have a part in how the victim fares afterward. In children who are 10 years old and younger, bites are most likely to be near the neck and head since this is the area that tends to be closest to a large dog’s mouth. Most victims of dog bites are boys who are 5 to 9 years old.
Because of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth and the tissue damage from a bite, victims will often need to seek medical care. Around one of every 775 people in this country have to seek emergency care annually for dog bites.
Dog bites are difficult injuries for the patient because there are many unknowns about what can happen. In some cases, you will be able to ask the dog’s owner questions about the animal’s health. For example, you can find out if the dog has a current rabies shot. This is important because rabies is a serious condition that must be treated quickly, but if the dog is current on its immunizations, this isn’t going to be a concern.
If you or your child is bitten by a dog, there are several things you need to know. Remembering these can help ensure that you are taking appropriate steps after the bite.
When the bite first occurs, press on the area around it to encouraging bleeding. This can help to remove bacteria. You also need to wash the area with soap and water. Press a clean towel or gauze over the bite to reduce the bleeding. Wrap it with a bandage and head to the doctor. You will get instructions for caring for the bite wound and may be given an antibiotic to stave off any possible infection. This should include changing the bandage frequently and watching for these signs of infection:
- Increased pain
- Redness around the punctures
- Swelling of the wound
- Foul smelling discharge
Taking legal action
You do have the option of seeking compensation from the dog’s owner for the damages caused by the bite. This can get the medical bills, missed wages and other similar expenses covered by the person who is legally liable. There is no reason why a victim should be held financially responsible for the action of another person’s dog.