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What to do When You Have Been Bitten by a Dog

Updated on August 2, 2016

The first thing you need to do if you have been bitten by a dog is to halt the bleeding from the bite wound. Use a totally clean piece of linen for this. A clean towel will work well. Press the towel gently but firmly against the wound.

As you are working with the situation, do not allow the dog bite wound to be held in a downward position. It is appropriate to keep the wound held as elevated. If it is held downward, the blood will flow more freely. Next, you need to get the wound clean. Remove the towel and wash the wound with soap. This will likely sting a bit, but it must be done to remove bacteria from the bite.

Now you need to put a covering over the wound. Gauze is fine, as is a clean bandage of almost any sort, provided that it is large enough. Apply a product such as Neosporin to the dog bite to prevent it from becoming infected. You need to see a doctor to verify that you have done everything properly and for further medical assistance. A doctor's assistance can help to ensure that the bite does not become infected and worse. As the bite is no doubt causing pain, you may wish to take an over the counter pain killer at this time.

Do you know which dog bit you? This is very important, as you must determine whether the dog was a stray or is owned by someone. If anyone other than yourself saw the incident, then that person is a witness to the dog bite and you may need to call upon them at a later date. Photographs of the dog bite wound can be quite helpful later on as well. Dog bite incidents are normally reported to animal control. Try to get a copy of the incident report.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you must first take steps to attend to your injury through proper first aid. After first aid has been administered by yourself or someone else, you should make a proper incident report and gather information. List the names of anyone who saw the incident as well as who the owner of the dog is. If you do these things, you will have covered all the bases that you need to in order to heal well and document your injury.


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