Dog bites are scary and painful when they happen, but in the aftermath, you may not see a need to rush to the doctor. After all, many bites appear small and not too serious on the surface.
Before you decide to try home remedies, though, you should consider some facts about animal bites.
1. Animal bites are prone to infection
Infection is a significant concern with any animal bite, so it is important to take quick action. You must first clean the wound with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment.
However, the bacteria in dogs’ saliva can cause a serious infection, and cleaning the wound yourself may not be enough to prevent it. A doctor should examine your injury to determine whether you need antibiotics.
2. You may need tetanus or rabies shot
Depending on how long it has been since your last tetanus vaccination, your doctor may recommend a booster. In rare cases, your doctor may recommend a series of rabies shots if you are unsure of the animal’s vaccination status. Rabies in domestic animals is rare, but the disease is incurable and always fatal, so even the smallest risk is a good reason to seek medical attention.
3. You need to document your injury
You should take photos of your wounds in case you need to file a personal injury claim. However, photos alone may not be sufficient evidence. A medical report from your doctor provides additional documentation of your injury, which can help you receive compensation from the dog’s owner.
Dog bites are often more serious than they appear. A visit to your doctor can help you avoid painful complications and provide necessary documentation if you need to file a claim.