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  • Writer's pictureGregory Woodhead

What to Do When You Get Bitten by a Dog


puncture marks and bruise on a person's leg

When you get bitten by a dog, it is important to take immediate action to ensure your safety and prevent infection. Here are some steps you should follow:

  1. Assess the situation: After a dog bite, try to determine the severity of the injury. If the bite is deep, bleeding profusely, or you are having difficulty moving, seek medical attention immediately.

  2. Move to a safe place: If you're in immediate danger or the dog is still aggressive, find a safe location away from the dog to protect yourself from any further harm.

  3. Control the bleeding: If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or sterile bandage. Elevate the wound if possible to help reduce blood flow.

  4. Clean the wound: Once the bleeding is controlled, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least five minutes. It is essential to remove any dirt or debris to minimize the risk of infection.

  5. Apply an antiseptic: After cleaning the wound, apply an antiseptic solution like hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine to help kill bacteria that may be present. Avoid using alcohol, as it may cause further tissue damage.

  6. Cover the wound: Use a sterile bandage or clean cloth to cover the wound and protect it from further contamination. Change the dressing regularly to keep the area clean and dry.

  7. Watch for signs of infection: Keep an eye on the bite wound for any signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or pus. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.

  8. Consult a healthcare professional: Regardless of the severity of the bite, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional or visit an emergency room. They will assess the wound, clean it further if necessary, and determine if further medical treatment, such as stitches or antibiotics, is required.

  9. Report the incident: It is crucial to report the dog bite incident to the appropriate authorities, such as animal control or local law enforcement. They can investigate the matter further and ensure the safety of others.

Remember, dog bites can lead to serious complications, including infection and rabies transmission. It's always best to seek medical attention to ensure proper care and prevent any potential complications.

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