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When should you see a doctor for a bite wound?

As a resident of Illinois who has recently suffered from a dog bite, you may be wondering what to do next. Should you go to the doctor's right away? Is it severe enough to go to an emergency room? Here are some guidelines about when your bite injury is severe enough to see a doctor.

Mayo Clinic states that if you have been bitten by a dog, there are steps you can take in your own home first. This includes washing the injury in warm water with soap, applying antibiotic ointments or creams, and wrapping it with clean, fresh bandages. Pressure may also be applied if you need to stop the flow of blood.

Some bites are too severe to properly treat at home, however. A few signs that you need to see a doctor include:

  • Crushed or torn skin
  • Significant bleeding
  • Redness, swelling, oozing
  • Excessive pain

You should also see a doctor if you suffered from a puncture wound and you don't know how deep the wound goes. Additionally, if you have any questions at all about whether or not the animal you were bitten by could have rabies, you should see a doctor right away. The dog that bit you should also be taken in to a vet so they can test for rabies.

Dog bite injuries can be difficult to heal from, especially if it is more severe. Because of this, having documentation of a visit to a health professional may come in handy if you decide to pursue damages.

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