It’s up to individual dog owners in Georgia to control their animals to prevent them from harming the public. When this fails to occur, people run the risk of experiencing a dog bite, which can cause significant consequences and health effects to the victim. Along with reporting the dog owner and seeking the assistance of an attorney to pursue damages, the Cleveland Clinic suggests taking the following steps if you experience a dog bite.

Performing timely first-aid immediately after the attack is crucial. In this case, wash the dog bite with water and a non-abrasive soap before wrapping it in a sterile bandage. Because infection is a concern, you also want to press on the wound gently before bandaging to remove some of the bacteria. Once bleeding is controlled, visit a doctor right away for an exam.

The doctor will look over the wound to determine whether your need stitches. He or she may also provide a tetanus shot in the event it’s been a while since your last vaccination. If there are concerns about infection, antibiotics may also be prescribed. It’s important to take medication as instructed to ensure your risk of infection is sufficiently lowered.

Also, be prepared for questions regarding the animal that bit you. This is to determine whether you’re at risk of acquiring rabies, which is a virus that attacks the central nervous system. Rabies can be deadly to both humans as well as dogs, and for many people the symptoms begin rather benignly, usually presenting as a fever and headache. If your doctor has concerns, he or she will administer a rabies vaccination. It’s crucial that you receive your vaccination as soon as possible after the dog bite has occurred, so don’t delay seeking out medical treatment.