When an angry or protective dog attacks and bites you, you need medical attention. The dog needs to be quarantined and examined by a veterinarian. The public needs to know about the problem dog, and you need to get help with your bite-related expenses. Here are the steps to take after you suffer from a dog bite in Arizona.
Treat the Wounds
After you’re safe and away from the aggressive dog, manage any open wounds inflicted on you by the dog’s attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five dog bite victims requires medical care for their wounds.
Diseases spread by half of all dog bites can include the following:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Wash minor wounds including scratches and small pricks with soapy water, then flush the wounds well with clean water. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wounds, then cover the wound with a fresh sterile bandage. After a health care professional examines the wound, follow their instructions for changing the bandages and cleaning the wounds.
While the CDC recommends seeking professional health care only if the wound worsens, you should seek medical attention within eight hours for any piercing of the skin by a dog.
The reasons for this are first, if you don’t know the identity of the biting dog or owner, you have no idea if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, which is fatal to humans if not treated in time. Second, if you haven’t had a tetanus booster in the last five years, a deep bite could make you very sick.
In the case of a deeper dog bite, apply pressure at the site of the wound to stop the bleeding. Use a clean, dry cloth and keep pressure constant. Call 911 and request medical assistance if the bleeding doesn’t stop. If you do manage to stop the bleeding, seek medical attention immediately.
Report the Dog Bite
In Maricopa County and the entire state of Arizona, a dog that bites a person must be quarantined after the incident. Veterinary experts must assess the dog for signs of rabies and other diseases before the dog is released or euthanized. If the dog’s rabies status is unknown, authorities may euthanize the animal for a definitive rabies diagnosis.
If animal control apprehends the dog in Maricopa County, and the dog is secured at a shelter or veterinary office, you don’t have to contact Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) yourself to report the dog bite. The veterinarian and/or shelter staff will alert MCDPH when a rabies assessment is necessary.
However, the epidemiologists at MCDPH provide skilled assessments for physicians concerning post-exposure rabies prophylaxis. If you want to be assessed for rabies risk from a dog bite, have your health care provider contact MCDPH right away.
Seek Assistance for Your Injuries
A serious dog attack can cause a lot of problems for you, your job, your family, and your home life. You may be left with residual pain or loss of function in limbs or fingers. You may also suffer from scars on your face or limbs. You may be unable to work because of a serious dog bite.
If your income declines due to a dog bite, your entire quality of life declines. Your medical bills for the dog bite will most likely be harder to pay. The pain, the financial hardship, and the stress of the situation should not be yours alone to bear. If a dog owner refuses to control their animals, others are at risk of injury, so you may need to go to court to alert the community.
When you’ve suffered a serious injury due to a dog bite, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer before the dog owner tries to settle or deny responsibility in court. In Arizona, the dog owner is liable for any damages you suffer during and after a dog bite. The owner is responsible whether or not they were aware of their dog’s aggressive tendencies.
Don’t go it alone after you suffer a dog bite in the Phoenix area. Consult qualified dog-bite litigators in Arizona to start your injury claim by contacting Snyder & Wenner Personal Injury Attorneys right away.