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When man's best friend takes a chunk out of your arm

It won't be long before many Pennsylvania residents are gearing up for another sports season. College students will return to their campuses, kids will go back to school and parents will do whatever it is they do while all that's happening. As summer wanes and fall sets in, you might eagerly await the times you'll share with friends and family, watching your favorite teams on television (or in person) sharing a few laughs, good food and enjoying the company of those you love.

Amid these friendly gatherings, you may come across a dog or two. Canines are unpredictable and obviously do not have the same capability to reason and make logical decisions as humans. One minute, your pal's furry friend may be lying at your feet, waiting for a scratch behind the ears, and the next thing you know, something or someone may appear as a threat to it, resulting in a bite.

When Fido bites the hand that fed him

The last thing you'd expect when visiting someone's home is to wind up in an emergency room getting stitches for a severe dog bite. If you keep the following in mind, you may be able to begin first aid before you even get to the hospital:

  • You can sometimes stop bleeding by applying a clean cover and firm pressure to the wound.
  • If possible, keep the limb that the dog bit raised (to the level of your heart is good).
  • Clean the wound as well as possible.
  • Some people swab antibiotic ointment over a dog bite to prevent infection.

The doctor at the hospital will likely probe for more information, such as whether a stray dog or a dog you know bit you. He or she may also want to know if the dog attacked when unprovoked. For instance, if a dog bites someone who was trying to touch her puppies while the mother nursed them, this is not an unprovoked incident.

The doctor will also require more information about your health as well. For instance, if you already have a compromised immune system, your doctor may want to keep close watch on you since you are at risk for infection.

Dog owners hosting guests in their homes are obligated to keep their guests as safe as possible. Even if someone is passing you on a sidewalk while walking a dog on a leash, if it bites you, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Others in Pennsylvania have obtained compensation in court to cover their medical expenses and any other costs associated with their injuries.

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Lisko & Associates
204 E Calder Way
Suite 304
State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-753-4413
Fax: 814-237-6679
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