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After the Bite: What to Do After a Dog Attack

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There were over 7,000 hospital admissions in England over the last 12 months for injuries caused by a dog attack.

The number of people who have received a dog bite has risen on recent years and evidence of that is seen by the fact that the number of hospital admissions for a 12 month period ten years ago, was 44% lower.

After the bite

Getting attacked and bitten by a dog is shocking and distressing on any number of levels and there are numerous reasons why this situation occurs.

Whether the dog is displaying territorial behaviour or just plain aggression, the important thing to do in the immediate aftermath of the attack is to assess the wound and make a decision about what treatment is needed.

Superficial wound

The severity of your injury will vary and you might be considered fortunate to a certain extent, if you receive a superficial wound.

It may not feel like that at the time as an attack of any nature is certainly upsetting and traumatic.

Take a good look at the wound and if it has not punctured the skin and if you have a graze or gash, it can be considered as a superficial wound.

You should immediately attend to this wound by cleaning it with some clean running water and then use a medical cleaning agent like isopropyl alcohol for example, before applying an antibiotic cream or lotion and covering it with a bandage.

Puncture wound

Depending on the severity of the injury you have received and the amount of blood you might be losing, it may be advisable to call the emergency services for assistance.

As with many injuries received, it may pay to wait a few minutes and let the wound bleed, unless it gushing out profusely, which is a different scenario altogether. Allowing the blood to follow out of the wound can have the effect of cleansing it and after a few minutes, you should attempt to stop the bleeding by applying some direct pressure to the puncture wound.

If you are unable to stop the flow of blood by this point, then you should definitely call the emergency services for help, and continue to apply some pressure to reduce the level of blood loss while help arrives.

Dealing with the aftermath

Once you have resolved any medical issue and had treatment for your dog bite, your attention will no doubt turn to the circumstances that led to you being bitten

If you were bitten by your own dog and it happened when you tried to intervene in a dog fight, there is a reasonable chance that the injury was accidental and the dog was in an aggressive zone and you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There are about five main reasons why a dog will bite and it pays to understand their natural instincts and behavioural patterns, so that you can avoid it happening again in the future.

If it was a random attack and someone else’s dog that attacked you, you should try to get names and contact numbers of the dog’s owner and seek some legal advice if you have suffered as result of the attack.

Isabella Blackburn works at a busy law firm as a secretary by day. By night she has started blogging, taking inspiration from the events of the day and sharing her thoughts with a growing online audience.