Some dog bite injuries are minor while others are serious enough that they break the skin along with the muscles, tissues, nerves, and bones beneath it. Regardless of how serious the wound is, you should make sure to treat a dog bite quickly to ensure it heals without incident.
You may be able to treat a minor dog bite on your own but it is always better to go to the doctor. Wash the wound with soap and water before applying any ointments or bandages. If the dog bite wound is deep or severe, you should get emergency medical treatment at the nearest hospital. You may even need stitches or surgery.
With proper care, a dog bite should heal within 10 days. However, if it is deeper, it will likely take longer.
Watch Your Dog Bite Wound for Signs of Infection
Whether the dog bite was minor or major, you should keep an eye on it during the healing process. Your doctor will likely ask you to notify them immediately if you notice redness, swelling, or any pus draining from the wound. It’s also a problem if the wound is sensitive to the touch or you develop a fever.
Some slight pain is normal in the first few days following the dog bite as it heals. However, if this pain or any of the other symptoms become moderate to severe, then you should seek immediate medical assistance.
What to Know About Treatments for Dog Bites
When you get medical care following your dog bite, the doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths, and when they bite and break the skin, you will be more prone to infections. Antibiotics can help prevent infections from developing, especially if your wound requires stitches.
Your doctor will also ask questions about the dog because if there is any risk that the dog may have rabies, you will need a rabies shot. Since rabies is fatal when it is left untreated, time is of the essence when getting medical treatment after a dog bite. You should not take any chances and follow doctors’ orders until you have fully healed.
What to Know About Suing for a Dog Bite
In the state of Illinois, dog bites follow the strict liability law, which means you can sue the dog’s owner for the painful dog bite. It doesn’t matter if the dog never acted aggressively before. If you were in a public place or on private property with permission to be there, you could sue for dog bite injuries as long as you didn’t antagonize the dog.
You may have loved dogs until the moment someone’s dog bit you. Many dog bite victims have felt frightened to be near dogs after sustaining injuries. You should speak with a dog bite lawyer about the next steps to take. The dog’s owner should cover your medical bills for the treatment of your wounds and may even be liable for the emotional trauma you’ve endured in this incident.