Steps to Take After a Dog Bite to the Face
Dog bites can cause thousands of dollars of damage and take months to heal. Bites to the face are particularly traumatic. It is possible to lose your vision or suffer nerve damage that will permanently alter your appearance. Because of their small size, children are especially prone to a dog bite to the face.
If this happened to you, here are the steps to take after a dog bite to the face.
Stop the Bleeding
The face bleeds more easily than other parts of the body because of the high number of blood vessels just below the surface of the skin. Stop bleeding by applying pressure using a clean towel. You might not be able to stop the bleeding completely depending on the wound, but try as best you can.
Get to the Hospital
Ask someone to call emergency services or take yourself to the emergency room if you can safely do so. You need a doctor to examine the wound. A doctor will also have the treatment that you need to ward off infection and other complications.
Have Wounds Treated
The treatment will depend on the severity of your wounds and their location. If you have only soft-tissue injuries, your doctor will probably wash the wound using saline before applying sutures. The doctor might also need to cauterize certain areas to stop bleeding. After wounds are sutured, the doctor can dress them. You might be given general anesthesia while the doctor works on your facial injuries.
Some people suffer more serious wounds, such as bone fractures to the face or skull. You might need to be admitted to the hospital for monitoring.
Receive Tetanus and Other Shots
To prevent deadly infections, your doctor will probably prescribe:
- Tetanus shot
- Anti-rabies vaccine
Remember to follow your doctor’s directions for taking antibiotics. Stopping halfway in the regimen can have deadly consequences, so be sure to take them for as long as your doctor prescribes.
It can take months for facial wounds to heal. Your doctor will give you directions for cleaning and dressing your wounds, as well as whether you should use an ointment. Once the wounds have fully healed, you and your doctor can discuss what to do (if anything) about the facial scars. If the dog bites were small, scars might not be noticeable. By contrast, serious facial mauling might require reconstructive surgery.
Dog bites to the face can also cause significant emotional trauma—especially to young children. Your doctor can discuss therapeutic treatments to help you manage nightmares, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
Speak to a Denver Dog Bite Attorney
The average dog bite settlement is $37,000. The amount you can receive will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether you provoked the dog, the seriousness of your injuries, and the dog owner’s insurance policies. Some of our clients are eligible to receive much more in compensation than the average.