Should you see a doctor for a dog bite?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Animal Bites, blog

Being attacked by a dog is a traumatic experience. Even minor bites can cause a significant psychological reaction, especially if you are not familiar with the animal that bit you.

According to Healthgrades, dog bites have different levels of severity. While minor bites require immediate first aid, moderate to severe bites require assessment by a doctor as soon as possible. Here are the important things to keep in mind if a dog bites you.

Broken skin

Puncture wounds in the skin can introduce harmful bacteria to your body. If you have not received a tetanus shot in some time, your doctor may administer one to lower your risk of infection. While some puncture wounds are shallow, deeper ones have a greater risk of infection and require immediate medical attention.

Excessive bleeding

Excessive bleeding after a bite also puts your health at risk. Applying pressure to the wound should stop the bleeding when it comes to less severe bites. If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes of pressure, seek out emergency medical care. Your doctor will stem the bleeding and evaluate the wound for further damage.

Signs of infection

Signs of infection include swelling, redness, or skin that feels warm to the touch. People with chronic illnesses like diabetes face a greater risk of infection, so it is a good idea to have any bites assessed if you have a weakened immune system, regardless if there are signs of infection present.

If you have any concerns after a dog attack, notice signs of infection, or are cannot verify the vaccination history of the dog, it is best to visit a doctor. Your primary care physician can examine the injury and provide a treatment plan based on your specific needs.

FindLaw Network