According to Washington State Legislature, if a person’s dog bites you in public or when you are in private lawfully, then the owner is liable for any injuries that you incur. It does not matter if the dog is vicious or if the owner assumes the dog is not vicious.
Dog bites can cause damages beyond the initial bite, according to the CDC. There are over 60 types of bacteria in a dog’s mouth and a handful of those germs can lead to illness. Those who have weaker immune systems are more prone to illness and infection. One bacterium can lead to painful, red infection.
MRSA is a staph infection that you risk when bit by a dog. This infection is resistant to antibiotics. While it does not show up with symptoms in the dog, it can lead to lung, skin and urinary tract infections in humans. For some, the infection can spread to the blood stream and become life-threatening.
Dog bites may also lead to tetanus and rabies. While rabies is rare, it is possible to contract rabies from an infected dog. The virus spreads through the saliva of the dog. While most vaccinate their dogs for rabies, if you suffer a dog bite, it is better to be safe than sorry.
After a dog bite, you should wash the wound. You can use gentle soap and water for the initial cleaning. If the wound is deep, you may want to visit a doctor, in case you need stitches. If not, apply an antibiotic cream and bandage the wound. If the wound becomes worse, see a doctor immediately.