How to Tell if a Bite is Serious

dog biting pant leg

In our office, every dog bite is serious because we know the emotional and physical stress that dog bites cause. Dog attack lawyer, Ian Silverthorne knows that certain dog bites can be life altering. We have taken on many dog bite cases where our clients’ lives have changed tremendously due to the bite. However, many bites leave you with minor injuries that you can treat at home. Other bites require immediate treatment. Below, I have put together a list of ways to know if a bite is serious. If you are suffering from injuries due to a dog bite, contact a dog bite attorney in our office. Consultations are free.

Dog Attack Lawyer | Knowing if a Bite is Serious

Check for Immediate Trauma

The first thing to do is to determine how severe the bite is. This is so you know if you need to go to the emergency room right away. Look at the bite and check signs of bruising, punctured skin, bleeding, etc. You will also know by the way it feels. However, the more severe the bruising or the bleeding, it is likely the worse the bite.

  • A bite that has only minor scratching and irritation to the skin is likely to be less serious. However, it should still be cleaned with soap and monitored. If you notice that the scratch becomes infected, we suggest that you go to the emergency room right away.
  • Any bite that has heavy bruising of unbroken skin, heavy and/or uncontrollable bleeding, multiple puncture wounds, etc. should be treated by a physician right away.

Looking for Blood Loss

A small amount of bleeding is common after bites. However, rapid and uncontrollable bleeding is problematic and needs medical attention right away. Check the wound to see if the blood is slowly pushing out of the bite site, or if there is a fast and steady flow.

  • Elevate your injury and apply pressure to the wound;
  • Use gauze or a towel to keep blood from getting on others;
  • After you get the bleeding under control, go to the emergency room right away;
  • If you are unable to stop the bleeding within 10 minutes of the incident, contact 9-1-1.
  • A loss of as little as 15% of a person’s blood has negative side effects.

Pain Levels

Any bite is going to cause a little discomfort. However, with more severe dog bites, extreme pain is an indication that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. This can include hemorrhaging or a broken bone. Check pain levels by applying gentle pressure to the area bitten. That will then indicate if there is additional trauma under the skin.

Seek Immediate Medical Treatment

We always tell our clients to seek medical attention right away after a bite or injury. Go to the emergency room right away after your accident. Make sure you let the doctors know everything you can about the bite, including the type of animal, when it happened, etc. Seek emergency medical treatment if:

  • the bite was from a severe attack;
  • there is heaving bleeding;
  • there are injuries to the face, eyes, scalp, etc.;
  • the vaccination record of the dog is unknown.

Monitor Infections

Certain dog bites are more prone to becoming infected. Monitoring the wounds closely for early signs of infection are important. Watch for swelling, redness, difficulty moving the infected area.

  • If you think the bite is likely to become infected (if it’s not already), contact your doctor immediately and let the know;
  • Wash any bite with mild soap and warm water;
  • Apply antibiotic ointment and dress it with a clean bandage.

Bitten By a Dog? Contact a Dog Bite Attorney Today!

As a dog bite attorney, Ian Silverthorne knows that the time after your injuries is sensitive. and the only thing you should be focusing on is healing from your wounds. That is why we are here to represent you. We believe that the only thing you should focus on during this time is healing from your wounds.

If you are suffering from injuries due to a dog bite, contact us today. Consultations are free!