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When to see a doctor for a dog bite

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2022 | Dog Bites, Personal Injury

There are 4.5 million dog bites each year in the United States. In Georgia, a dog owner is possibly liable for damages if their dog bites someone. Some of the bites are fatal or life-threatening. How can you tell if a dog bite requires a visit to the doctor? Here are some situations where you might want to see a doctor following a dog bite.

Nothing stops the bleeding

Applying pressure to a dog bite should stop the bleeding. Use a clock to time yourself and apply pressure for 15 minutes. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 minutes, you might want to seek medical assistance for the bite.

The bite punctures or tears your skin

A dog bite may or may not break the skin. If the bite breaks your skin, a visit to the doctor is suggested. You might need a tetanus shot or rabies vaccine to prevent infection.

A stray or wild dog caused the bite

You can’t get the dog’s immunization records if there’s no owner. That puts you at greater risk if a stray dog or a wild dog bites you. You don’t know if the dog has had its shots or not. Going to a doctor is possibly your best option.

You have a weak immune system

Some conditions can weaken your immune system. For example, a medical condition such as diabetes can cause a weakened immune system. Some medications and medical treatments can also weaken the immune system. If your immune system is weak, seek medical attention after a bite from a dog.

The bite shows signs of infection

Visit a doctor immediately if an infection develops. Signs of a dog bite infection include pus, swelling, warmth, change of skin color and pain. Antibiotics or a rabies vaccine are possibly necessary.

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