Steps in Treatment of a Dog BIte


Santa Ana, Irvine and Mission Viejo Dog Bite Attorney

The treatment of a dog bite is based upon the severity of injuries, the risk of infection, and the psychological impact of the attack. Physical treatments can include everything from home care, to outpatient urgent care, hospitalization and surgery.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite, our best advice is to seek immediate medical care from the appropriate local medical professionals.

Treatment on the Scene and at Home

The first concerns are bleeding and the risk of infection. If the dog bite is bleeding cover the area with the most sanitary dressing available and apply pressure.  If the bleeding is severe, elevate the affected area while on the way to seek treatment.  If the wounds are exceptionally minor, they should be thoroughly washed with soap and water, treated with an antibiotic ointment and covered with a bandaid or dressing.

What Should You Do if you are Injured by a Dog Bite?

Note: If you do not know the dog, or are unsure of its origin you should seek immediate testing and treatment for rabies.

Treatment of a Dog Bite in a Medical Center or Urgent Care

The best course of action in any dog bite injury is to seek medical attention at your local emergency room, urgent care or medical center. There, the professionals can assess the damage and provide needed services to tend to the injuries and care for the person who was wounded.  Dog bites apply a heavy amount of force, and often result in broken bones, especially in children.  These will need to be set, and often a cast is applied to protect the affected area while healing.


Stitches are often required when treating dog bites. The challenge with stitching these types of wounds is the irregular tearing injuries that result from a dog shaking its head during the bite, and the victim’s natural inclination to pull away.  Infection is still of great concern at this stage, and many physicians will opt to delay stitching the wound in order to ensure that the risk of infection has been reduced or eliminated.


Surgery may be required if damage has been done to the nerves, ligaments and tendons that lie beneath the affected areas of injury. In many cases, these attacks involve children and wounds on the face and neck require immediate reconstructive surgery.  Severe scarring, or scarring that is in a highly visible area such as the face, neck, limbs or torso may require multiple plastic surgical procedures over a period of time to reduce or virtually eliminate visible scarring.

Physical Therapy

The wounds from dog bites often require physical therapy in order to recover lost range of motion, or to prevent limbs and digits from stiffening after healing has begun.


Dog attacks are emotionally traumatic, especially for children. Almost all dog bite victims suffer a form of post traumatic stress as a result of the attack.  Psychological support helps to restore confidence, and provides tools to help the victim to recover from what has happened and move forward with their life.

Experience and Expertise Matter in Dog Bite Cases Involving Injury

Seek immediate medical care for the treatment of a dog bite.  As an injury attorney with more than 40 years of experience in dog attacks and dog bite injuries, I have handled hundreds of dog bite and dog attack cases.

If you, your child or someone you love has suffered an injury from a dog bite or attack that required medical treatment or left permanent injury or scarring I invite you to contact our office, or call (949)305-1400 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, and will do everything possible to make sure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

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