Dog bites may not seem serious. If the dog belongs to someone you know, you may be reluctant to get medical attention. You may fear that the dog owner may have expenses, have legal liability in Connecticut, or will have to put down the dog.

However, dog bites can be more serious than they appear. You should not take chances with your own health and ability to work. Here are some things that can happen after a dog bite.

Infection

The owner of the dog may assert that the dog does not have rabies. Not all owners vaccinate their pets as often as they should, though. Get information from the owner about the exact vaccination status of the dog.

Even if the dog’s vaccines are up to date, a dog’s mouths and teeth can infect you. Do not let anyone, especially a dog’s owner, deter you with the myth that dog’s mouths are cleaner than ours.

You may not be up to date on your shots yourself. A dog bite can inflict a deep puncture wound. If you cannot remember when you got your last tetanus shot, you may need to get another one. For all these reasons you should seek medical attention soon after a dog bite injury, even if it seems minor.

Muscle and nerve injury

A bite may not hurt as much as you might expect, especially at first. You should document your injury by taking pictures before seeking medical attention if possible. You should also not delay in getting medical help for long.

Dog bites often affect the hands and arms. Ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles can easily lose feeling and function from the effects of a bite. These injuries may not be apparent at first. Without prompt medical attention, you risk losing some or all use of the affected limbs.

If a dog bites you, get information about the dog and its owner. Get prompt medical attention. Do not risk your health to avoid inconveniencing a dog owner.