Each year, thousands of people in Texas are bitten by dogs. While the vast majority of these bites do not result in serious injury, there is always the potential for a dog bite to become infected and cause significant harm. Therefore, let’s discuss how to prevent infections from dog bites and how to treat injuries if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten.
Preventing dog bite injuries
The best way to prevent dog bite injuries is, of course, to avoid being bitten in the first place. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Be cautious around dogs you don’t know, even if they seem friendly. Ask the owner for permission before petting any dog, and always leave a sleeping or eating dog alone.
- Never approach a strange dog from behind, as this may startle them and cause them to attack. Most dogs respond by fight instead of flight.
- If a dog knocks you down, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck to protect yourself until the dog goes away. This maneuver works because it is non-threatening to the dog and makes you appear small.
- If you see a dog acting aggressively, do your best to put something between you and the dog, like a tree, a car, or a fence. Running could trigger a dog’s prey drive and cause them to chase and attack you.
Treating dog bite injuries
If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A tetanus shot may be necessary if it has been more than five years since the last one. If the bite is more than a superficial wound, it will likely need to be cleaned and sutured by a doctor.
Although Texas doesn’t have a civil statute that specifically lays out a dog owner’s civil liability, you can still sue for your injuries. The state has a “one bite rule” that you can use. This law states that if a dog bites someone for the first time, the owner has a legal obligation to prevent a similar occurrence.