Dog Bites: Post-Treatment & Tests
If you have been bitten by a dog, before you start looking for a dog bite attorney in North Carolina your priority is medical treatment. Dog bites can become infected, and if some injuries are not treated timely they can cause long-term irreversible damage to bone, muscle, nerve, and other connective tissues.
Dog attacks are frightening and painful, and one's recovery may be compromised and more painful if they elect to avoid doctors and manage treatment on their own. Medical treatments are important for one's overall health and for establishing records that can be used as evidence in a dog bite claim.
What types of tests and treatments should you have after a dog bite? Your doctor will know best. For now, we review a few tests that you can discuss with your doctor:
Rabies. If proof of the dog's rabies vaccine is not available, victims will need to receive a series of injections. According to the Centers for Disease Control, medical professionals may administer human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) directly into the bite area because it attacks the virus right away and delays or stops viral progression. A vaccine stimulates immune response to fight off the virus, but if the timing is off (more than 48 hours after exposure) the chances of the virus fatally spreading are greater.
Tetanus. There is a small risk that a tetanus infection may occur after a dog bite. Depending on the dog's medical records, severity of the wounds, and whether or not the victim had a tetanus vaccination, a doctor may want to administer a separate treatment. The CDC reported a teenage boy who was bit by a dog, decided not to receive medical treatment, and then developed tetanus from the dog bite.
X-rays. When medical professionals are concerned about broken bones this will help determine the severity of fractures so that appropriate treatment is prescribed.
Alternatives to stitches and staples. Depending on the severity of the injury, victims may not necessarily need stitches. Some doctors offer alternatives to traditional stitches because this may allow the wound to "breathe" and reduce the risk of bacteria being trapped in and causing an infection.
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