Bitten By a Dog?
Americans love dogs. In fact, there is at least one dog living in 44% of all households in this country. But it’s important to remember that dogs are, after all, animals, and animals aren’t always friendly.
In nearby Cape Coral, a woman was taking a walk through her neighborhood when she was attacked by a dog, which bit her on the back before latching onto her hand. The woman was lucky that she wasn’t seriously injured, because dog bites like this can be dangerous.
Dog Bite Prevention
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States, and one in five of dog bites become infected. While this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a pet dog, it does mean that you should take certain precautions. For example, families should be aware that children ages 5 to 9 are the most at risk to be bitten by a dog and the most likely to need medical attention. Men are also more likely than women to be bitten (but as mentioned above, women are also at risk).
Moreover, you’re more likely to be bitten if you own a dog — especially if you own more than one. The CDC lists a number of safety tips for dog-owners and anyone who is around a dog. Those tips include:
- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog, and if an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless with the side of your body facing the dog (facing the dog directly can appear aggressive).
- Don’t run from a dog — it will probably chase you.
- Never disturb a dog while it’s eating, sleeping or taking care of its puppies.
- Don’t let small children play with a dog unsupervised, even if it’s your family dog.
- Don’t pet a dog if it hasn’t seen and sniffed you first.
Visit the CDC website to read additional safety tips for preventing dog bites.
What Should You Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog?
There are several steps you should take if you or a loved one is bitten by a dog:
- Get to safe place.
- Wash the wounds with soap and water.
- See medical attention if the wound is bleeding uncontrollably, the bone is exposed, there is redness or swelling, or if it has been more than five years since the dog bite victim’s last tetanus shot.
In addition to tetanus, dog bites can spread rabies, MRSA, pasteurella and other bacteria. These diseases (and other wounds) can require extensive medical treatment and cost considerable time and money. If your wounds were caused by another person’s dog, remember that you have rights under Florida law.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been bitten and injured by someone else’s dog, you have the right to compensation for your damages. Contact The Pendas Law Firm today to speak with a Fort Myers personal injury attorney about your case.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona, Bradenton and Tampa areas.