I’ve been bitten by a dog. What should I do?

A: No matter how bad the bite looks, the first thing to do is get medical attention.  Most of us have no hesitation about being licked by a dog, but if there has been any breaking of your skin, no matter how small, you run the risk of infection-or worse.  Get to an emergency room or a doctor immediately.

Call the animal warden from your town or city-the number is in the blue pages of your phone book or on the internet.  If you can’t find the phone number quickly, this is a good time to use an operator.  You must make sure that the dog has had its shots-rabies is a dreaded disease for good reason.  The animal warden will help identify the animal and contact the owner and/or keeper and make sure that all shots are current.

If there is any risk of rabies, you should talk with a doctor without delay about treatment.  Over the years, rabies shots have really improved and are nowhere near as painful as they once were.  Rabies, however, is as dangerous as ever.  Talk with a doctor about what should be done to protect you.

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