Dogs earned a reputation as man’s best friend, but they can quickly become your worst enemy. When dogs become aggressive, they may attack children and even their owners. Any dog can pose a threat to you and your family, but larger dog breeds and those traditionally bred for fighting and police work may pose the greatest risks.
Regardless of the size of the dog that attacks you or your loved one, seek treatment. Treatment becomes especially important if the attack comes from an unknown dog or one that does not have all its shots. Here are some steps recommended by WebMD.
1. Stop the bleeding
In the best-case scenario, you probably only received a small grazing. The worst cases might involve severely damaged limbs. Applying direct pressure to the wound may help.
2. Clean the area
Animal bites often become infected. Dog mouths are notoriously dirty and subsequent contaminants can make things even worse. WebMD recommends cleaning with soap and water for several minutes. Then, dry and apply antibiotic cream and cover with a clean bandage.
3. Get medical help
Even minor scratches may grow into bigger problems. One of the worst complications comes from the possibility of contracting rabies. Doctors have no known cure for this illness. They must treat it early to improve your chances of a swift recovery.
4. Follow up
If your doctor advises you to come back for a medical examination or to refill prescriptions, do so. Even if you feel fine, let the doctor give you a clean bill of health. If you do not feel well, the doctor may prescribe additional treatments to resolve issues.
Medical records and proof that you followed the doctor’s orders may sometimes decide the outcome of a subsequent case related to the issue. This provides one of the best reasons to seek professional medical assistance.