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When Should I Call A Doctor For A Dog Bite?

By Expert Author: Greg Phillips

As a dog bite expert, I commonly encounter certain questions from bite victims. For instance, “Who's at fault for a dog bite?” (Answer: the dog owner). Should I seek out a dog big injury attorney? (Answer: yes). Or, people ask, “Should I call a doctor if I've been bitten by a dog?” This question is especially important, because it can quite literally mean the difference between life and death, but not everyone agrees on when it's appropriate to seek medical attention. So I'd like to try and bring a little bit of clarity to the matter.

Dog Bites – The 411 on 911

I've encountered quite a bit of debate, even among professionals, on when it's appropriate to seek a doctor. For example, according to MedicineNet, you should seek medical attention “if the dog bite disrupts the skin causing a puncture, laceration, or tear. As well, if there is pain at or near the injury site, underlying structures may have been damaged and medical care may be needed.”

This advice would be great … if it wasn't so dangerously wrong. Here's the real answer: If a dog has bitten you, see a doctor right away. I don't care if you were nipped by a Chihuahua and don't feel any pain. It's always important to get checked out, and here's why:

Even if a dog bite doesn't seem serious, that saliva can carry bacteria known as Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which exists in about one-third of all cats and dogs. If you happen to be sensitive to bacteria (as many people are), or if you have a compromised immune system, those particular bacteria can wreak havoc on your body. I have even reported about people who have had limbs amputated and nearly lost their lives due to serious reactions to this particular bacteria. So don't risk it. Get checked out by a doctor immediately. What do you have to lose?

Additional Information – Call a Dog Bite Lawyer

If a dog has bitten you, I would also encourage you to contact a qualified California personal injury attorney that specializes in dog bites to discuss your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but the more quickly you act, the stronger your case will be. So call a lawyer right away.

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