Getting bitten by a dog can be scary. You might panic and feel overwhelmed, but it’s important that you stay calm to be able to correctly handle the wound.
If the bite is severe, you may need to get in touch with a law firm such as Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers to help you claim for damages, but first, you’ll need to make sure it’s clean, safe from infection and handle the pain.
Wash the Wound
First and foremost, you need to wash the wound to get rid of any potential bacteria or germs left over from the dog and other environmental factors.
Depending on how deep the wound is, this might be difficult and painful, but all you need to use is some warm soapy water to clean around the bite. If you have a disinfectant spray or solution, this would be a good time to use that. It’s important that you pat the area dry too before you can apply any ointment or bandages.
Stop the Bleeding
If you’ve had an encounter with a larger, more dangerous dog, you might have some nasty bleeding. Use a towel to apply pressure to the wound for a few minutes in order to help stop the bleeding a little quicker.
You’ll want to get the bleeding to a minimum before bandaging it, to avoid bleeding through your bandages too quickly.
Apply an Ointment
Once the bleeding has slowed down, it’s a good idea to apply some ointment to the wound. A disinfectant, antibacterial or antibiotic cream or ointment will help eliminate any residual bacteria in the wound and prevent an infection from developing where you were bitten.
If you don’t have an antibacterial ointment on hand, then reaching for some petroleum jelly should do the trick too.
Bandage the Wound
Next, you’ll want to bandage it tightly to protect it against dirt and germs, and also to help manage the pain. A wound left open will be exposed to the elements and more likely to get bumped or scratched over and over again, slowing down the healing process and causing you unnecessary pain.
However, it is important to allow the wound to breathe eventually. Keeping it wrapped up for too long will create a warm and moist environment which could encourage the growth of bacteria. Make sure to change your bandages and clean the wound regularly until it’s healed.
Seek Medical Treatment
Finally, you’ll need to determine whether or not the wound might need professional medical attention. If the pain or bleeding is severe, or if the bite is deep enough to require stitches, go and see a doctor as soon as you have cleaned the wound and slowed the bleeding. You may also need to seek out medical help later down the line if you suspect you have developed an infection.
Keep in mind that a serious dog bite can be a traumatic experience and you might struggle with some psychological damage which is completely normal.