What to do if you are bitten by a dog

Dog bites can happen for many reasons. A puppy in the teething stage may nip on the ankle or a strange dog on the street may attack you. The most serious concern with dog bites is rabies. By knowing how to treat a dog bite you can minimize the risk of any related complications.



For minor wounds: If the bite barely breaks the skin, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection and cover the bite with a clean bandage.

For deep wounds: If the dog bite creates a deep puncture of the skin or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding. If you have alcohol at home, you can even clean the wound with it as it acts as an antiseptic. This helps remove the saliva and dust from the affected area.

For infection: If you notice signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately. Always consult a doctor within 24 hours and get the first injection (if needed) to prevent any infection.

At the Clinic

  • After examining the bite, the doctor will decide whether anti-rabies shots are required. In most cases, doctors avoid stitching the wound.
  • The doctor may give a tetanus booster if you haven’t taken one in the past 3-5 years.
  • If the doctor suspects bone damage based on your bite, he will check your x-ray to determine the proper treatment.
  • Inform your doctor whether or not you know if the dog that bit you has received a rabies vaccination.
  • If a doctor believes you are at risk for rabies, you will be given multiple anti-rabies shots.

Continuing Care

  • When possible keep the injured area elevated to avoid swelling.
  • Bites can cause emotional distress, especially in children. Comfort and reassure them that all will be well.
 Source: www.thehealthsite.com, www.mayoclinic.com, www.wikihow.com, www.webmd.com


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