Although dogs are a popular pet for families, it is easy to forget that they are still independent animals. In fact, 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by a dog every year. A dog bite can happen from a dog that is familiar to a strange or feral dog. Because this kind of personal injury comes from an animal, there is an extra risk of infection or complications from a bite. Half of dog bite victims are children between the age of 5 and 9, so it is important to treat a dog bite properly.
A dog may bite if they feel threatened or intimidated. In most cases, a bite is from a familiar dog who is acting in self-defense. To help prevent dog bites, do not leave young children alone with dogs, especially ones that you do not know the temperament of. A young child may not respect the space of a dog and put the dog in a fight or flight situation. Avoid interactions with dogs you do not know, and let unfamiliar dogs approach you.
If a dog bite does occur, staying calm will likely prevent further damage. Move away with caution and prevent eye contact with the dog. Direct eye contact can be seen as a threat by the animal. The safest bet after a dog bite is to seek professional medical attention. If the bite causes complications later on, having documentation of a doctor will be helpful in the case you decide to sue.
If the bite is minor, follow these steps for care. These steps can also be done before professional care if not immediately available.
Change the bandages regularly, and be mindful of any signs of infection. If the dog bite gets irritated, red, swells, or you experience pain or a fever, consult medical help immediately.
Dogs have strong jaws and sharp teeth and can cause bodily harm in seconds. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, consult with an experienced Joliet dog bite attorney to see if you are eligible for a personal injury case. Call our office at 815-726-9200 to schedule a free consultation.