What Should You Do if a Dog Bites You?

People get bitten by animals every day. While some bites are from wild animals like bats, skunks, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons, many of the bites are from domestic animals like dogs. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to discuss what to do if a dog bites you.

One of the biggest concerns about an animal bite is rabies, which affects warm-blooded animals, such as dogs and cats as well as different types of wild animals. The rabies virus spreads from animals to humans through saliva that contains the virus. It spreads when an infected animal’s saliva gets into an opening in the skin, which is usually a bite or a scratch.

However, people can also get rabies if the saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with an open wound or their mucous membranes.

If You Are Bitten

If you are bitten by a dog, identify the dog that bit you. Usually, when a dog has bitten a person, he or she needs to be quarantined so they can be tested and observed for rabies.

The first thing you want to do after a dog bite is to wash the wound out thoroughly with soap and water. It’s best to apply an antiseptic with iodine if available. Contact a doctor right away to find out if you need any rabies post-treatment.

Be aware that dog bite wounds can get infected. A doctor will decide if you should take antibiotics. We also recommend asking the doctor who treats you if you should have a tetanus shot.

What Happens to the Dog?

In Texas, dogs, and cats, regardless of vaccination status, have to be quarantined or put to sleep (in a humane fashion). If the dog is put down, their brain will not be damaged and it will be submitted for rabies testing. If the dog is quarantined instead of being put down, the dog will be observed for 10 days. If the dog isn’t confined until sometime later, the owner may be allowed to confine the animal at home under certain circumstances.

Under Texas law, dog owners are strictly liable for their dogs’ actions. If you were bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner may be legally liable for your injuries and any other damages that you may have suffered. To explore filing a dog bite claim, contact our firm today.

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