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What should I do if a dog bites me?

If you have ever been bitten by a dog in Illinois, you understand the fear of injury and disease that comes with the wound. While the experience can be a scary one, there are things you should know that can keep you as safe as possible. Cesar’s Way provides helpful tips if you have suffered a dog bite.


If you do not know the dog that bit you, there will be a concern of rabies or other disease. Rabid dogs will typically act very aggressive, partially paralyzed or in other strange ways. If you see these signs, call 911 and animal control immediately. Do not attempt to capture the dog, but focus on caring for the wound.


The first thing you need to do is determine what type of injury you have. If it is a puncture wound, it is safe to let the wound bleed for five minutes to push out any bacteria. The exceptions to this statement are if your wound is in your neck, head or gushing forcefully from another location. If this is the case, call 911 immediately to prevent major blood loss. Otherwise, wait five minutes and then apply pressure to the wound. After the bleeding stops, rinse with soap and water for five minutes. If at any time you cannot stop the bleeding, call for help.


Superficial wounds will generally not require help, but can be cleaned with soap and water followed by isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Afterward, cover with antibiotic ointment and a bandage. This information is not intended to be legal or medical advice, but is meant as education.

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