Florida residents love their dogs, and there is an abundance of parks and recreational areas where pet owners can bring their animals to run and play. However, the state and various regions also have strict leash laws requiring owners to keep their dogs restrained and under control at all times. Unfortunately, many dog owners ignore these laws and allow their animals to run free and unsupervised. This places others at risk of dog bites and potentially serious health consequences.
In some cases, a dog bite may seem minor, and the victim may believe it is unnecessary to ask for a medical opinion. On the other hand, any animal bite that breaks the skin leaves the victim susceptible to serious infections, including potentially deadly rabies. Anyone who suffers a minor bite should quickly and thoroughly clean the wound with warm water and soap, but seeking medical attention can also reduce the chance of infection. More serious symptoms following a dog bite may require immediate medical treatment, including:
- Damage to the muscles or nerves
- Signs of bruising
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Swelling, warmth and redness, indicating infection
Victims of bites from animals with which they are not familiar should also seek the advice of medical professionals in case those animals are not properly vaccinated. Additionally, a bite that seems minor to begin with can easily become infected, placing the victim at greater risk. For this reason, it is wise for victims of dog bites to allow a doctor to examine the wound and to be honest with authorities in explaining the circumstances surrounding the animal attack