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What to Do if You’re Bitten by an Animal

These days, most animal bites come from domesticated pets, but wild animal bites can still happen. When an animal bite occurs, it’s important to follow the right steps to ensure your health and rights are protected. Here are four tips on what to do if you’ve been bitten by an animal.

First Aid

Animal bites have a high risk of infection. To reduce the risk as much as possible, gently rinse the bite area with soap and water. If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a bandage. If you are in pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Seek Medical Care

If the bite has broken the skin, you should seek immediate medical care. Your healthcare provider may prescribe you a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. They will also assess your risk of rabies or tetanus and treat you accordingly. If you are bleeding heavily, they may also close the wound with stitches to further protect it from infection.

Report the Bite

Many states have dog bite laws, and owners of dogs deemed too dangerous can face criminal charges and fines. If you have been bitten by a pet dog, you should report the dog bite to the police to get it documented. If you have been bitten by a wild animal, an animal behaving in a strange way, or a domestic animal with unknown rabies status, you should report the bite to your local animal control as soon as possible.

Get Legal Help

Getting bitten by an animal can be expensive. Between medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and trauma, you may end up paying more than you expect to treat your wound. If you have been bitten by someone’s pet, you may be able to get compensation through legal action. Because animal bite laws vary state-by-state, consider retaining a personal injury lawyer who can advise you based on your local laws.

Animal bites can range from relatively minor to potentially life-threatening. To protect your health, make sure to clean the wound and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then, consider your legal options for seeking damages related to the animal bite.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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