Dog Bite Attorney Jacksonville

What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By A Dog?

It can happen at any time.  You’re walking in the park and seemingly out of nowhere a dog jumps at you, biting and scratching you as you try to shove him away. Maybe you’re visiting a friend when their puppy gets a little playful and bites down a little too hard.  It can be a big dog or a small one.  At that moment, the size of the dog doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you’ve been injured.  So, what do you do if something like this happens to you?

Cesar Millan is a top dog trainer.  He is a best-selling author, public speaker, and the internationally acclaimed star of “Cesar 911,” as well as the Emmy nominated host of the “Dog Whisperer” program.  He has some pretty good experience in the area of dog bites and how to treat them, so we would love to share it with you.

Animal Bites

Superficial wounds

Clean the wound with clean, running water, and then hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.  Apply a topical antibiotic and cover with a bandage.

Puncture Wounds

First of all, don’t be afraid to let the wound bleed. Unless you’ve lost a lot of blood or it is gushing out forcefully, or the wound is in your head or neck, (in which case call 911 immediately), wait five minutes. The flow of blood out of the wound will help to cleanse it.

After five minutes, see if you can stop the bleeding through direct pressure. Again, if it doesn’t stop, call for emergency help. If it does stop, cleanse the wound by rinsing under running water with mild soap for five minutes.

Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome for puncture wounds. These can slow healing. Puncture wounds do not normally need to be bandaged, but if you choose to, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly first. Luckily, dog bites do not normally leave debris or other objects in the wound which would need to be removed.

Disease and Rabies

If you are bitten by an unknown dog, the American Red Cross suggests that you do not try to stop, catch, or hold the animal. Contact animal control as soon as possible so they can try to capture the dog, and call 911 so you can begin rabies vaccinations right away.

If the animal that bit you seems to be partially paralyzed, acts aggressively, or behaves in a strange way, then it may be rabid.

For any bite, be sure to clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly, because all animal bites can transmit bacteria and cause infection.

What to Do if Your Puppy Bites You

At a certain stage, puppies bite. It’s what they do, first when they’re teething, and then later as they try to establish dominance. The important thing to remember is that a puppy doesn’t bite you because it hates you. It bites you because you’re there, it feels something soft, and it has teeth.

Sometimes, a puppy may even break the skin but, again, the important thing to remember is that this is just a stage of the puppy’s growth. In order to deal with it, remember two things. The first is to remain calm. A nip from a puppy may hurt, but the less you react to it, the less importance your puppy will attach to it.

Second, in order to break your puppy of this habit, you need to learn the signs of when she is about to nip, then correct her with a quick pinch on the scruff just before she decides to do it. This will redirect her from her instinct to bite, and eventually teach her not to do so.

If you do get nipped, most likely it’s a superficial scratch, so see the instructions under “Superficial Wounds,” above.

What to Do if Your Dog Bites You

Follow the general procedures, and then look at the causes of the bite. If it happened during a dog fight, then it was most likely accidental — your dog was in an aggressive zone and you were in the wrong place — so it was nothing personal, and you probably don’t have to worry about your dog suddenly biting you again.

Do not discipline your dog long after the fact. She won’t connect discipline now with what she did in the past, so it will just confuse her. If she does remember biting you, she may show signs of submission afterwards (ears, tail, and head down). Practice no talk, no touch, and no eye contact for a while and remain calm.

If your dog suddenly nips at you for no apparent reason, consult your veterinarian first. This may be a sign of pain or a hidden injury, which your vet can diagnose. If there are no obvious medical causes, then you have to look at what happened leading up to the bite. For example, did you suddenly sit too close to him on the couch, try to take away a favorite toy, or get too near the food bowl while he was eating?

In those cases, you need to work with your dog to eliminate budding aggression by establishing rules, boundaries, and limitations, consulting with a professional trainer if necessary.

What to Do if Someone Else’s Dog Bites You

If the dog’s owner is present, then share names and contact numbers so you can get proof of rabies vaccination from them. Treat the wound as noted above.

Afterward, check with the dog’s veterinarian to make sure the rabies vaccine is up to date. Animal control and the police should be notified of the incident so they ensure that the owner of the dog takes steps to prevent their dog from biting someone again.

If you find yourself a victim of a dog bite or attack and need legal or medical help.  Please feel free to contact The Soud Law Firm for a FREE consultation.  We would be happy to help!

Attacks and Animal Bites Jacksonville