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Not all dog bites require antibiotics, research says

Suffering a dog bite can be a traumatic event for a lot of people. That's because there are not only the physical injuries but the emotional ones as well. In many cases, victims worry about the cost of treatment and typically have concerns about whether the dog's owner should be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

On top of these concerns, some bite victims may also have concerns about the long-term affect this injury could have on their life. More specifically, will the bite become infected and cause even more damage later on? Because the overuse of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacteria, some patients may be hesitant to take antibiotics after suffering a dog bite, which further adds to their anxiety about the situation.

New research out of Stanford might be able to quell some of this concern though. After looking at "nearly 500 patients who received treatment for dog bites over the past 4.5 years," a Stanford medical student noticed that prescribing antibiotics after suffering a dog bite wasn't always necessary every time. She noted that puncture wounds and wounds that were surgically closed were more prone to infection, thus requiring antibiotics. Open wounds that had been thoroughly washed were less likely to need antibiotics.

You may not need antibiotics, but you may still need compensation

Although this new research might calm some concerns regarding dog bites, it's important for our California readers to remember that if their injuries were caused by another person's dog then they may be entitled to compensation from the owner. That's because pet owners in our state can be held liable if their pet injures another person. This can be done with or without the help of a personal injury attorney, though with an attorney's help is oftentimes considered the better option.

Source:, "Stanford study: Not all dog bites should be treated with antibiotics," Andrea Ford, Feb. 10, 2015

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