Treating a dog bite
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s important to tend to the injury right away to reduce your risk of bacterial infection. You also should assess the wound to determine the severity.
In some instances, you’ll be able to administer first aid to yourself. In other cases, you’ll need immediate medical treatment.
Whether the dog is yours or someone else’s, you may feel shaken after being bitten. If you need medical attention, call for help rather than driving yourself to the doctor or hospital.
Read on to learn the steps you should take following a dog bite, and what you can do to prevent infection.
Ask about the dog’s vaccination history
The first thing you should do following a dog bite is to put distance between yourself and the dog. That can eliminate the chances that you may be bitten again.
Once there’s no longer an immediate threat, it’s important to determine if the dog has been inoculated against rabies.
If the dog’s owner is nearby, ask for the dog’s vaccination history, making sure to get the owner’s name, telephone number, and veterinarian’s contact information. If possible, also ask to see some sort of ID.
If the dog is unaccompanied, ask anyone who witnessed the attack if they’re familiar with the dog and know where the owner lives.
Of course, it’s also possible to be bitten by your own dog. For this reason, make sure to keep up with your dog’s rabies inoculations. Even a friendly, gentle animal may sometimes bite.
Administer first aid
The type of first aid you administer will be determined by the severity of the bite.
If your skin wasn’t broken, wash the area with warm water and soap. You can also apply an antibacterial lotion to the area as a precaution.
If your skin was broken, wash the area with warm soap and water and gently press on the wound to promote a small amount of bleeding. This will help flush out germs.
If the bite is already bleeding, apply a clean cloth to the wound and gently press down to stop the flow. Follow up with an application of antibacterial lotion and cover with a sterile bandage.
All dog bite wounds, even minor ones, should be monitored for signs of infection until they’re completely healed.
Check the bite often to see if it becomes:
redswollenwarmtender to the touch
If the wound gets worse, you feel pain, or develop a fever, see a doctor immediately.
Wash the wound with soap and warm water.
Gently press a clean cloth over the wound to stop the flow of blood.Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound.Cover with a sterile bandage.Watch for signs of infection.Seek help if you suspect infection or possible exposure to rabies, or if the wound is severe…
Inserted by Zimbabwe Online Health Centre
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