Dogs are commonly known as ‘man’s best friend’ and it’s easy to see why: with their loveable personalities, loyal temperaments, and playfulness, they often make great companions and family pets. However, it’s important to remember that dogs are also predators with a mean set of teeth, with some breeds in particular, such as pit bulls and rottweilers, being bred specifically for their aggressive temperaments. While aggressive breeds can make great family pets if trained in the correct manner, unfortunately, things can sometimes go wrong, resulting in a nasty dog bite. Here are four steps to take if you have been bitten by a dog.
Have Someone Restrain The Dog
First and foremost, make sure that the dog that has injured you is safely restrained to prevent another person being injured. It is best if this is done by the dog’s owner or someone who is experienced in handling dogs. Make sure it is restrained on a leash and perhaps use a muzzle if you are concerned about further bites and it can be safely put on. Take the dog to a quiet area away from the incident zone where it can calm down after the attack.
Seek Medical Assistance
Dog bites can range in seriousness from superficial nicks and cuts to permanent scarring requiring multiple hospital visits, and sometimes even fatalities. Even if your dog bite can be cleaned and dressed by yourself or a family member, you should still seek further medical assistance. When an animal bite has broken the skin, you could be at risk of infections such as tetanus, rabies, or sepsis. A visit to the hospital will ensure that the wound is cleaned and dressed securely to help prevent infection, and you can be given vaccinations to prevent infections such as tetanus.
Photograph The Injury
Sometimes, a dog attack can happen due to negligence on the owner’s part. If this is the case, and especially if lengthy hospital visits and recuperation is involved, you might want to consider pursuing a compensation claim with a reputable dog bite attorney. In this case, evidence should be collected to strengthen your case. Many hospitals take photographs of serious injuries, but make sure you take your own photographs of your injuries as soon as possible after the attack, as these can be used by your attorney as evidence in court if you decide to pursue a claim.
Talk To Someone
A dog attack can be traumatic mentally as well as physically, especially if the canine perpetrator is your own pet or belongs to a friend, and could develop into PTSD. You might be left with a phobia of dogs and nervous to be around them. Additionally, your attack could have resulted in the dog being put down, and you might be struggling with complicated feelings of guilt that you have caused someone to lose their beloved pet. It is advisable to talk to a trained counselor to help you work through and overcome these feelings.