As soon as a dog bite occurs, medical treatment should be sought immediately. A physician will conduct a complete examination and may administer a tetanus shot if required.
Your vet may suggest cleaning and applying antibiotic ointment to any wounds you discover, as well as drains to assist the body with ridding itself of pooling infection, drains for deeper wounds to help remove pooled infection, x-rays or ultrasound scans to detect hidden injuries that aren’t immediately evident and/or drains for deep wounds that need draining, in addition to drains for draining wounds that require deep digging as well as ultrasounds or x-rays for hidden injuries not visible at first glance.
Identifying the Injuries
First step in healing a dog bite injury is identifying what exactly happened and taking immediate steps to treat any injuries sustained. A physical exam should help ascertain whether any deep structures like muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones were affected – this step is especially critical as infections in these parts of the body can be fatal, particularly among elderly and younger individuals.
Dogs possess powerful jaws that can crush and tear flesh, cause avulsion injuries (tearing away of tissue from bone), penetrate thoracic cavities and potentially cause serious harm, such as severe injury or even death. Furthermore, their powerful jaws may cause nerve damage as well as damage other underlying structures which cannot be seen from the outside of the body.
Most bite wounds should remain open rather than be stitched closed in order to promote drainage and avoid infection. Oral antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (Clavamox) or enrofloxacin may be prescribed in order to reduce risk. Infections can arise from bacteria present in a dog’s mouth as well as germs near or on a wound site; thus it’s wiser to wash wounds quickly after injury, then apply antibiotic ointments like Povidone Iodine immediately upon them.
Taking Your Dog to the Vet
Whoever is bitten should visit their veterinarian immediately, even if the wound seems minor, because even bites that seem superficial can damage muscles, tendons, bones and nerves beneath the skin; such injuries may not be apparent due to thick fur covering parts of their bodies.
The veterinarian will pose several questions, such as how and when the bite occurred, as well as what type of dog it was and whether or not they have received vaccinations against rabies. She may also take a stool sample for testing to identify intestinal parasites and check that vaccination was up-to-date on both occasions.
A veterinarian may decide not to close an older bite wound with stitches, especially if it has been present for more than eight to 12 hours (24 for face wounds). This allows it to drain properly, which reduces infection risk. She will likely apply a bandage over it so as to protect it from being touched or licked which would encourage bacteria growth that would worsen its condition.
Cleaning the Wound
Cleanliness of wounds is of vital importance in order to stop bacteria from multiplying and increasing risk. Washing it immediately with soap and water can reduce infection risks while gently flushing out any remaining bacterium with gentle movements of soap and water can remove remaining ones from the system. Ideally, bite wounds should be cleaned three to four times each day (but bleeding may temporarily continue while doing this), with clean gauze pads applied immediately afterwards and antibiotic ointment applied after each cleaning session.
Location and amount of dead space created by bites are both key considerations; more dead space equals an increased risk of infection.
Your vet may suggest a drain to flush away bacteria in the wound and will likely order an exam of their wound using x-rays or ultrasound to assess any internal injuries such as broken bones or nerve damage.
As your pet undergoes medical testing, it is crucial that they remain calm and restrained so as not to upset or lick at his wounds. A soft voice and treats may go a long way in making him comfortable during examination.
As with any wound, dog bites pose the potential risk of infection. Bacteria entering through bites can enter deep layers of muscle, tendon and nerve tissues causing serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries; even minor puncture wounds have the ability to trap bacteria beneath the skin and form into abscesses that could eventually turn fatal.
If the wound is deep or bleeding severely, medical assistance should be sought immediately from an emergency room, urgent care center, or physician’s office. In such an instance, your wound will be evaluated to ascertain if any deep structures such as muscles, tendons and nerves have been injured and signs of rabies must be monitored closely as this disease can spread quickly if left untreated – potentially fatal in under 24 hours!
Doctors typically recommend cleaning wounds with normal saline (salt water) to irrigate them out, clean it thoroughly and apply antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (Augmentin) as necessary – taking it exactly as instructed can prevent future infection risks. It is crucial that patients follow doctor instructions about taking their medication as directed for full effectiveness.
Keeping a Journal
As your recovery advances, it is a good idea to keep a log of how the injuries affect both physically and psychologically. This will allow your attorney to accurately calculate your compensation award while helping establish a strong case against the dog owner.
Keep a journal to help recall key details from an attack, including date and time, medical procedures undergone, symptoms experienced, impactful injuries experienced and how these affect daily life. Be mindful to record any losses due to your injury such as lost wages or an inability to work.
Dog bite injuries can be life-altering events. Victims often struggle with psychological trauma post attack, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety, making professional help essential. Taxman, Pollock Murray & Bekkerman can offer expert legal guidance – we will examine all available evidence before crafting a compelling argument on your behalf to secure compensation from insurance providers for you.