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Should you go to the doctor for a dog bite

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | Dog Bites |

Many people in California love dogs. It is hard to imagine being bitten by such friendly creatures, but it can happen. Is it always necessary to seek medical care after a dog bite?

Why dogs bite

There are many reasons a dog may bite a human. Like humans, they all have different personalities and emotions. If you do not know a dog personally, always ask its owner before petting it. If the owner is not around, you may want to avoid the dog.

A dog who is scared or feels threatened might be more inclined to bite someone. Consider this before approaching a mother with her new puppies. She may be a friendly dog most of the time, but if she feels like her pups are in danger, she will protect them.

A dog may also bite if it was raised to be aggressive or a watchdog. This is why it is never a good idea to approach an unknown dog.

What to do if you are bitten by a dog

You should always seek medical attention for dog bites. Like a human’s, a dog’s mouth is filled with bacteria including staphylococcus. The risk of infection is greatest when the skin is broken and bleeding.

If the dog is not caught up on its current vaccinations, you could be exposed to diseases like rabies. Rabies is fatal if not treated immediately. Other potential infections from dog bites can become severe.

You are especially vulnerable to infections from dog bites if you have diabetes, certain autoimmune disorders or are otherwise immunocompromised. The bottom line is that you should always seek medical help after a dog bite. This stands true even if the dog is fully vaccinated or a well-known and loved family pet.