Weather is getting warmer, and more people are coming out of their homes to enjoy the West Virginia spring by taking walks, playing in parks and gathering in their yards. Being outdoors more often also means taking an increased chance of encountering animals, including dogs that other owners leave unrestrained. It may be frustrating for residents to deal with other people’s pets that may tear their garbage or defecate on their lawns. However, it is often impossible to know what may provoke a dog bite,
Even the most docile dog may bite or attack under certain conditions. Many times, the wound is superficial, merely a warning from the animal, that may require careful washing, antibacterial ointment and a clean covering. However, a victim of an animal bite is encouraged to seek medical attention under the following circumstances:
- The wound is bleeding uncontrollably.
- The injury is deep enough to involve a nerve or muscle.
- The wound swells or shows signs of bruising.
- The animal is unfamiliar to the victim or may not have appropriate vaccinations, such as rabies or distemper.
It may seem obvious to seek medical attention under these circumstances, but even a minor bite may place the victim at risk of infection. Additionally, following any bite that breaks the skin, the victim would be wise obtain medical advice and possibly a tetanus booster. It is important for the victim of a dog bite to provide doctors with as much detail as possible about the attack so the medical team can provide the most effective treatment for the injury.