Despite dogs being one of man’s best and oldest friends, dog bites are more common than you might think. About 4.7 million Americans are bitten every year, with many of them being children, particularly boys ages 5-9. If you or your child gets bitten by a dog, quick intervention can help prevent infection, reduce scarring, and avoid permanent damage.
At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, with multiple locations in Maryland, our board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists are here for you no matter what type of injury you sustain, including personal injuries like dog bites, which may require your medical team to cooperate with your legal team for compensation.
What to do if you or your child is bitten
Depending on the severity of the bite and the condition of the dog, you might need immediate medical attention. If possible, have someone track down the owner of the dog while you or your child get medical care. If the dog is unknown, call animal control for assistance in trapping it.
The reason it could be important to track down the dog is you could need extra medical attention if it had rabies. Furthermore, if you plan on filing a personal injury suit, you will need as many details as possible regarding the dog.
Once you arrive at the medical facility, you should explain the details regarding your bite, so they can run the appropriate tests. Along with antibiotics and first aid, you might need stitches or surgery if the wound is severe enough. And, as mentioned earlier, if the dog had rabies, you or your child could need extra shots.
Once you’ve been cleared to go home, it should be just a matter of managing the pain and working to prevent infection.
Five tips for a smooth recovery from a dog bite
The aftermath of a dog bite can be extremely chaotic and stressful. But regardless of the circumstances, you should keep some things in mind to ensure the injury heals successfully.
1. Keep the wound site clean
This means washing the wound with mild soap and water and using sterile bandages every time you dress it.
2. Take medications as directed
If you were given antibiotics or any other medications, make sure you take them as directed. Failure to do so could result in infections or other complications.
3. Recognize the signs of an infection
Heat, swelling, redness, rashes, and pus should all be taken seriously. Call your doctor if you think a bite has led to an infection. Furthermore, if you feel feverish or disoriented at any point following an animal bite, seek immediate medical attention.
4. Monitor the healing process
If your wound doesn’t seem to be healing well, get it evaluated. If something is amiss, your provider can adjust your care to prevent further complications.
5. Take your pain seriously
With time, your pain should decrease. However, if it’s persistent, increases, or if it affects your sleep, get help as soon as possible.
At CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, our team is trained to provide treatment and pain relief following a personal injury, such as a dog bite. We can also help you with the compensation claim process if needed.
Avoiding bites in the future
To avoid future dog bites, take care around dogs you don’t know, and don’t antagonize any dog, regardless of your relationship with them. Learn their basic body language, and respect their boundaries when they growl or bare their teeth.
If you have children, make sure to teach them the same, especially if you have a rowdy child that likes to play rough or tease animals. Showing respect for animals will greatly reduce the chances of an aggressive encounter.
Have you or your child suffered a dog bite? Our team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center can provide pain relief options as well as help regarding personal injury claims. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today. Our Maryland offices are located in Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Lanham, Dundalk, Oxon Hill, Rosedale, and Olney, and we have two offices in Baltimore.