Any wound that you suffer can become infected if it’s not cleaned properly. That’s why common advice includes washing a dog bite out as soon as it happens. Wash with warm water, and consider using cleaning agents, like antiseptics. Even minor bites that don’t require medical attention at the hospital need to be washed out properly.
Even so, dog bites in specific – when compared to other types of cuts or lacerations – have a high probability of becoming infected. This can lead to serious complications, as some infections can lead to permanent scarring, disfigurement or even fatal consequences.
You may still have questions. Here’s what you should know:
Why does this happen?
The reason that dog bites are so specifically dangerous is because they are puncture wounds. They may not have a large surface area, but they descend deep below the skin. This process pushes various materials, such as fabric from clothing or bacteria from the dog’s mouth, deep into the wound.
Additionally, these wounds often don’t bleed very much, and so they don’t get cleaned out naturally by the body. The bacteria can become trapped, and then the wound becomes infected in the days or weeks after the injury. Surface wounds are easier to clean, and they bleed more, which means that they are less likely to become infected.
Can you seek compensation?
If someone else’s negligence led to the dog attack and you believe you’re entitled to financial compensation, you may need to make sure you know exactly what legal steps you are going to need to take. A dog’s owner may have been negligent by failing to keep the dog on a leash or not taking proper steps when they already knew they had a dangerous dog – such as if that dog has been involved in physical altercations in the past.