Animal bites can be serious and potentially life-threatening. Whether from a domestic animal like a dog or cat, or a wild animal like a raccoon or fox, it is important to take immediate action in the aftermath of any bite. Getting quick medical attention is key to preventing any further harm.
If you or someone you love has been bitten or attacked by an animal, our Spokane animal bite attorneys at West Law Office can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We can explain the legal options available to you even if the animal has no owner.
What Are Possible Complications from Animal Bites?
Below are some of the possible complications of animal bites:
- Bleeding and Swelling
One of the most immediate complications after an animal bite is bleeding and swelling around the area of the wound. Depending on the severity of the bite, the bleeding can be quite significant. In addition, the body's natural response to any injury is inflammation, which leads to swelling around the wound. If bleeding is severe or constant, seek medical attention immediately to prevent further blood loss. Swelling can be managed with a cold compress and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
A serious and potentially life-threatening complication that can occur after an animal bite is an infection. Animal mouths are full of bacteria, and when they bite, those bacteria enter the wound and can cause a host of infections. These can range from mild skin infections to more serious bloodstream infections. It's important to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible to receive antibiotics to fight the infection.
Fact: Of approximately 4.5 million dog bites in the United States, an estimated between 3% and 18% develop infections, according to the World Health Organization.
- Skin Tearing
Depending on the size of the animal and the force of the bite, skin tearing can occur. This can create a wide-open wound that is susceptible to infection and may require stitches to close the wound. If the skin is torn, it's best to seek medical attention quickly to reduce the risk of infection and scarring.
- Potential Muscle or Bone Injury
Animal bites can be powerful and cause deep tissue damage. This can lead to damage to muscles, tendons, or even bones in the affected area. If you experience any pain, stiffness, or diminished movement in the area of the bite, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Rabies is a serious viral infection that is transmitted through animal bites. It can cause inflammation of the brain and is nearly always fatal if not treated early enough. If you are bitten by an animal that you suspect may be infected with rabies, go to an emergency room immediately. Vaccination can be administered to prevent the onset of symptoms.
- Loss of Limb
While rare, the extreme power of some animal bites can result in the loss of a limb. This can be a life-changing complication and requires immediate medical attention and ongoing care. Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience any significant loss of function in a limb after an animal bite.
Bitten by an Animal? Contact West Law Office
An animal bite can be an unfortunate event. Often, it is something you cannot prevent from happening. If this happened to you or your loved one, you might want to contact a skilled attorney to discuss your compensation options. Reach out to West Law Office to receive a free case evaluation.