How can you care for yourself at home?
- After 24 to 48 hours, gently wash the wound with clean water 2 times a day. Do not scrub or soak the wound.
- You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage.
- Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
How to clean a dog bite on another dog?
- To care for a dog bite injury at home: Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding. Try to keep the injured area elevated. Wash the bite carefully with soap and water. Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- 1 How do you clean a dog bite at home?
- 2 How do I know if my dog bite is infected?
- 3 How do you clean an infected dog bite?
- 4 How does hydrogen peroxide clean a dog bite?
- 5 Should I soak a dog bite?
- 6 Should I put Neosporin on a dog bite?
- 7 Will an infected dog bite heal itself?
- 8 What are the do’s and don’ts after dog bite?
- 9 Do all dog bites need antibiotics?
- 10 How long after a dog bite does infection set in?
- 11 How do you know if a dog bite is serious?
- 12 How long should you keep a dog bite covered?
- 13 Should I put alcohol on a dog bite?
- 14 What is a Level 4 dog bite?
- 15 What happens if a vaccinated dog bites you?
- 16 If a Dog Bites You, Do These 6 Things Now
- 17 Dog Bites: Preventing Infections and Treating Injuries
- 18 Dog Bite Treatments
- 19 Get Some Helpful Tips on How to Treat a Dog Bite at Home
- 20 First Aid Steps
- 21 When to See a Doctor
- 22 Diagnosis
- 23 Treatment
- 24 Summary
- 25 A Word From Verywell
- 26 Dog Bite Treatment: First Aid, Seeking Help, and Prevention
- 27 How to Treat Dog Bites
- 28 First Aid: Animal Bites (for Parents)
- 29 Bite Wounds In Dogs
- 29.1 Why do dogs bite?
- 29.2 How serious are dog bite wounds?
- 29.3 Does my dog need to be seen by the veterinarian after it has been in a fight?
- 29.4 What should I look for to determine how quickly my dog needs to see the veterinarian?
- 29.5 What sort of treatment will be given to my dog?
- 29.6 What sort of home care will be necessary?
- 29.7 What can I do to prevent bite wounds?
- 30 What should I do if another dog bites my dog?
- 30.1 Signs of a Fearful or Anxious Dog that May Bite
- 30.2 Steps to Take if Your Dog is Bitten by Another Dog
- 30.3 Assessing Your Dog’s Injury
- 30.4 Why You Should Take Your Dog to The Vet After a Bite
- 30.5 What to Expect When You Visit the Vet
- 30.6 Treatment For Your Dog’s Bite Wound
- 30.7 Cleaning the Bite Wound
- 30.8 How You Can Help Your Dog Heal Following a Dog Bite
- 30.9 Has your dog been bitten by another dog?Contact our Winston-Salem vetsor ourafter hours emergency partnersto receive urgent veterinary care for your pup. At Animal Hospital of Clemmons our vets provide emergency veterinary care for pets in Clemmons and the greater Winston-Salem area.
- 30.10 Seek prompt medical care if:
- 31 Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.
- 32 Advertisement
- 33 What To Do If You’re Bitten By A Dog
How do you clean a dog bite at home?
To care for the wound:
- Stop the wound from bleeding by applying direct pressure with a clean, dry cloth.
- Wash the wound.
- Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound.
- Put on a dry, sterile bandage.
- If the bite is on the neck, head, face, hand, fingers, or feet, call your provider right away.
How do I know if my dog bite is infected?
What are the symptoms of animal bite infections?
- pus or fluid oozing from the wound.
- tenderness in areas near the bite.
- loss of sensation around the bite.
- limited use of the finger or hand if the hand was bitten.
- red streaks near the bite.
- swollen lymph nodes.
- fever or chills.
- night sweats.
How do you clean an infected dog bite?
washing the wound with soap and warm water, making sure to clean the area thoroughly. running the wound under lukewarm water to flush out bacteria. applying antibiotic cream to the wound and then wrapping a clean bandage around it.
How does hydrogen peroxide clean a dog bite?
Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome for puncture wounds. These can slow healing. Puncture wounds do not normally need to be bandaged, but if you choose to, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly first.
Should I soak a dog bite?
Do not scrub or soak the wound. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage.
Should I put Neosporin on a dog bite?
Even a loved pet can attack when frightened or if grabbed while fighting with another animal. A surface wound such as a scratch can generally be treated at home by rinsing the area with water and applying an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. But any puncture wound should be seen by a doctor.
Will an infected dog bite heal itself?
Dog bites to the face tend to be sutured, while those located on less noticeable parts of the body may be left to heal on their own. Sometimes, dog bite wounds need surgery to repair the wound if there is considerable skin damage or skin loss, or if there are associated injuries that need treatment.
What are the do’s and don’ts after dog bite?
Rinse the wound with water and soap. 3. A person with a dog bite will need to receive anti-rabies vaccine on 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28th day of dog bite. If he is unable to find out the status of the dog, he may need to receive a vaccine on 60th and 90th day after the dog bite.
Do all dog bites need antibiotics?
Bite wounds may be closed if cosmetically desirable. However, wounds at high risk of infection should be left open. Antibiotic prophylaxis should be used for high-risk bite wounds and considered for average-risk wounds. Postexposure rabies prophylaxis should be given to all persons possibly exposed to rabies.
How long after a dog bite does infection set in?
After being bitten, most people who become ill will show symptoms within 3 to 5 days, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Most Capnocytophaga infections usually occur with dog or cat bites. But some people who develop a Capnocytophaga infection have not been bitten.
How do you know if a dog bite is serious?
Signs that a Dog Bite Is Serious
- Extreme pain or pain that worsens over time.
- Uncontrollable bleeding.
- Deep lacerations or puncture wounds.
- Broken bones or internal injuries.
- Loss of function or muscle weakness.
- Signs of infection including redness, red streaks, tenderness, warmth, pus, or oozing fluid from the wound.
How long should you keep a dog bite covered?
If someone’s pet dog has bitten you, it should be kept in a secure area for the next 10 days to watch for signs of illness.
Should I put alcohol on a dog bite?
In the event of a dog bite, wash the wound with soap, or detergent and lots of water for at least 15 minutes, disinfect the wound with alcohol or povidone- iodine and then seek medical help.
What is a Level 4 dog bite?
Level 4: One-four deep punctures from a single bite and lacerations or bruising from the dog holding on or shaking. Level 5: Multiple bite incident with more than 2 Level 4 bites. Level 6: Victim death.
What happens if a vaccinated dog bites you?
Do you have to take vaccination against rabies if a vaccinated dog bites you? No, not if the dog is properly vaccinated against rabies and the efficacy of the vaccine is confirmed by laboratory evidence. Otherwise an appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be given.
If a Dog Bites You, Do These 6 Things Now
You’re having a good time with your dog, and it’s possible that something will happen between growls and tail wags. Those canine teeth are capable of biting and scratching. Alternatively, you may be going down the street when an unknown dog charges at you without notice, causing serious injury. Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical facility located in Cleveland, Ohio. Advertising on our website contributes to the success of our mission. We do not recommend or promote any items or services that are not provided by the Cleveland Clinic.
You’ll require expert medical assistance as soon as possible.
As a result, the wound is open and jagged.
According to him, “infection is the number one issue with these bites.” “You may need to be admitted to the hospital and get intravenous antibiotics.” In the event that you are bitten, you should always seek medical attention.” He advises that you consult a doctor within eight hours of being bitten by a dog under any circumstances.
If you have diabetes or are immunocompromised, your chances of contracting an infection are significantly higher.
7 steps to treating a dog bite
If you are bitten by a dog, perform the following procedures as soon as possible:
- Wash the wound with soap and water. Using a light soap, gently scrub the area for five to ten minutes with warm tap water. With a clean towel, you can slow the bleeding
- If you have access to over-the-counter antibiotic cream, use it. Sterilize the wound by wrapping it with a bandage. Keep the wound wrapped and make an appointment with your doctor. Once your doctor has evaluated the area, you should change the bandage many times a day. Keep an eye out for indications of infection, such as redness, swelling, increasing discomfort, and a high fever.
What will your doctor do?
Your doctor will want to hear more about the dog that bit you and the circumstances surrounding the incident. He or she will also likely clean the area once again, use antibiotic ointment, and prescribe medicines, such as Augmentin, if there is a worry of an infection developing. After any bite, you should double-check to see when your last tetanus shot was and whether or not you are up to date on your vaccinations. Dr. Sayles points out that while atetanus vaccination is effective for 10 years, your doctor may offer a booster if the wound is filthy and it has been more than five years since you received your previous dose.
Dog wounds, on the other hand, are often left open to heal unless they are on the face or if they have the potential to leave extremely severe scars if left untreated.
Bacteria from bites raises infection risk
Dog bites are responsible for the transmission of pathogens such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, and pasteurella, as well as the pathogen capnocytophaga. As previously said, unvaccinated and wild dogs might possibly carry — and spread — rabies, therefore your doctor will want to know the specifics of the dog that bit you. Dr. Sayles explains that the most important aspect of treating a dog bite is preventing germs from creating an illness.
Dog Bites: Preventing Infections and Treating Injuries
Despite the fact that dogs are our best companions, they are still animals, and they can bite. In reality, around 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, with half of those victims being youngsters between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five of those bites results in an injury that need medical care. Children are also more likely than adults to be harmed by a dog bite than the general population.
Despite the fact that strays and other unfamiliar dogs can bite, most individuals are bitten by a dog they are familiar with, which might be a friend’s dog or even the family pet. To avoid being bitten by a dog, do the following:
- When selecting a dog to serve as a family pet, look for one with a positive disposition. Keep your distance from any canines you are unfamiliar with
- If you have small children, you should never leave them alone with a dog, especially one they are unfamiliar with. You should refrain from trying to play with any dog who is eating or feeding their puppies. In any situation where you are approaching a dog, proceed gently and let the dog to approach you
- In the event that a dog turns hostile, do not flee or shout. Maintain your composure, move slowly, and avoid making eye contact with the dog.
Dog Bite Treatments
In spite of the fact that you may administer first aid for a dog bite at home, it is extremely vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if the dog bit you for the first time, the bite is deep, you can’t stop the bleeding, or there are any symptoms of infection (redness, swelling, warmth, pus). Dog bites can result in illnesses that necessitate the administration of medications. To care for a dog bite injury at home, follow these steps:
- Immediately apply a clean cloth to the wound to stop any bleeding
- Try to keep the affected region elevated as much as possible. Carefully wash the bite with soap and water to remove any bacteria. To bandage the wound, use a sterile bandage. Every day, apply antibiotic ointment to the wounds to keep it from becoming infected
Stop any bleeding by placing a clean cloth over the wound. Keep the affected region elevated as much as possible. Using soap and water, gently clean the bite site. Dress the wound with a sterile bandage. Daily use of antibiotic ointment to the injury is recommended in order to avoid infection.
- Do you happen to know who the dog’s owner is? Is the dog up to date on all immunizations, including rabies, if this is the case? The question is whether the dog’s bite occurred because it was provoked or because it was unprovoked. What medical conditions do you suffer from? A more severe infection may be more likely to occur in those who have diabetes or liver disease, as well as disorders that depress the immune system and other health issues.
In order to determine whether the bite was deep enough to cause damage to muscles, tendons, nerves, or bones, your doctor will inspect the injuries. A thorough cleaning of the bite site will be performed by the doctor to remove any dirt or germs from the wound, and the doctor may also remove any dead tissue from the wound. Sutures are sometimes used to seal a dog bite wound, however this is a contentious procedure that should be avoided if possible. Although suturing the wounds might help to decrease scarring, it can also increase the likelihood of an infection developing.
- Dog bites to the face, for example, may be sutured to prevent noticeable scars from forming.
- In addition, your doctor will take steps to keep you from being infected.
- (Keep in mind that the dog would have to be put down and their brain would have to be tested for rabies.) In addition, the doctor will check to see if you have received your tetanus vaccine in the last year.
- To ensure that the injury has not worsened, the doctor may ask you to return in one to three days to have it checked again.
Get Some Helpful Tips on How to Treat a Dog Bite at Home
Over 4.5 million humans are attacked by dogs in the United States each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. More than 800,000 people seek medical attention for their injuries every year. There are a variety of reasons why dogs bite. They may be terrified, ill, or in pain at the time. They may also bite out of frustration or anger. It is critical to understand how to respond to a dog bite, regardless of the reason for the attack. A bite poses a significant risk of serious sickness or harm if it is not treated promptly.
The hazards associated with dog bites are discussed in this article. It explains how to administer basic first aid to bite wounds and when you should seek medical attention. Photograph by Gwendolyn Plath / Getty Images
First Aid Steps
First and foremost, make certain that the dog that attacked you has been restrained and that the person who has been bitten has been taken away from the animal. Continue first aid until the person is no longer in danger. If you are unable to restrain the dog (or if it continues to attack), call animal control or the police immediately for assistance. When treating a dog bite, the first priority should always be the safety of everyone involved, including the victim, the rescuer, and, if at all possible, the dog.
Here are some pointers on how to deal with a dog bite.
- Maintain your safety: If you are a rescuer, take all necessary measures and put on personal protection equipment if it is available. Put a stop to the bleeding: Controlling bleeding may frequently be accomplished while making the location safe, especially if the patient is willing to assist in maintaining pressure. Control any bleeding that occurs by taking the necessary precautions. To apply pressure to the bite, wrap it in a clean cloth. Except in the case of serious bleeding that cannot be managed any other way, avoid employing a tourniquet
- To clean the wound, do the following: Once the bleeding has been brought under control, wash the wound with soap and warm water. Do not be scared to clean the wound from the inside out. Make careful to thoroughly rinse away all of the soap, otherwise it may cause irritation later. Take care of the wound: Make use of a fresh, dry dressing. Although you can apply antibiotic ointment to the wound before covering it, doing so is not required.
If the patient has several bite wounds or bites on his or her face or hands, he or she should seek immediate medical attention.
The first step in caring for someone who has been bitten by a dog is to ensure that the surrounding environment is safe and that the dog has been confined, if at all feasible, before administering treatment. Concentrate on putting an end to the bleeding and carefully cleansing the wound with soap and water.
When to See a Doctor
If your skin has been broken by a dog, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible so that you may obtain appropriate care. If you notice any of the following symptoms following a bite, consider coming to the emergency department right away.
- The appearance of redness and swelling
- It smells like pus and comes from the wound. Wounded area that is deep or extensive
- It is possible to see bone or muscle. If the bleeding continues after a few minutes, it is called persistent bleeding.
Wounds on the face or hands should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible because of the possibility of scarring and loss of function.
Filing a Police Report
Some jurisdictions have laws requiring you to report a dog bite to the appropriate authorities so that the dog can be monitored. Depending on the circumstances, the doctor may choose to submit a report on the injuries.
If you do go to the doctor, he or she will inspect your wound to determine whether or not the bite was severe enough to necessitate sutures. Additionally, the injury will be checked to see whether or not there is any damage to the muscles, nerves, tendons, or even bone. If the margins of the incision are unable to touch or if there are any avulsions, which are instances in which tissue has been entirely pulled away, your doctor may conclude that you require emergency care.
Dog bites that cause skin breakdown should always be evaluated by a medical professional. The damage does not appear to be significant, and it is often treated within 24 hours. If the cut is severe or on the face or hands, however, you should seek medical attention right once.
As soon as the bleeding has been stopped and the bite has been cleansed and bandaged, the wound should be checked for signs of infection. Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor, particularly if there are deeppuncture wounds present. If you haven’t had an atetanus shot in the last five years, you may also be required to obtain one. The size and location of the bite on your body will determine whether or not surgery is required to heal the muscle, ligaments, or tissue damaged by the bite.
Risk of Rabies
There is a slight possibility that a dog may be infected with rabies. Although it is extremely unusual, if a dog cannot be recognized or if the pet owner cannot provide confirmation of rabies vaccination, the patient should seek medical assistance immediately.
The virus that causes rabies is often lethal to humans if left untreated. For the first several days after the bite, the bandage should be replaced many times a day. It is also vital to be on the lookout for indications of infection, which include the following:
- Fever or warmth surrounding the area
- Pus draining from the wound
When a dog bite occurs, basic first aid must be administered, which includes slowing the bleeding, cleaning and bandaging the area, and keeping an eye out for symptoms of infection. If the skin is broken, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible thereafter. Treatments that are not covered by the insurance plan may include antibiotics, sutures, or even surgery. It is also possible that your doctor will advise you to have a tetanus booster injection or, in rare cases, a rabies vaccination.
A Word From Verywell
Dog bites are frightening injuries, but in many cases, they may be treated at home in the earliest stages of the injury. Following basic first aid protocols and then contacting your doctor is critical in order to avoid problems from occurring.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best way to disinfect a dog bite wound? Dog bites should be cleaned up completely as soon as possible. Filtering dirt and bacteria away from the wound by running water over it for five to ten minutes will help. After rinsing the bite with water, gently wash it with mild soap and water. Make certain to completely rinse it. What should I do if I get bitten by a dog? First and foremost, apply pressure on the wound to halt the bleeding. After that, thoroughly clean the bite site, being careful to go into the wound. In order to protect the wound, you should contact your doctor to schedule an appointment to get it examined.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to join up. There was a clerical error. Please try your search again. Verywell Health relies on only high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed research, to substantiate the information contained in its articles. Read about oureditorial process to discover more about how we fact-check our information and ensure that it is accurate, dependable, and trustworthy.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of veterinary medicine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on dog bite prevention. MedlinePlus has information about preventing dog bites. Bruising and bleeding
- MedlinePlus. Animal bites: take care of yourself. D.C. O’Brien, T.B. Andre, A.D. Robinson, L.D. Squires, and T.T. Tollefson. Dog bites to the head and neck: An examination of a frequent pediatric trauma and the therapy that follows. The American Journal of Otolaryngology published a study in January-February 2015 that found that 10.1111/j.amjoto.2014.09.001
- Golinko MS, Arslanian B, and Williams JK. Golinko MS, Arslanian B, Williams JK. There were 1616 consecutive dog bite injuries at a single institution with the following characteristics. Clinician-assisted pediatrics (Philadelphia) 2017
- 56(4):316-325 doi:10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000848
Dog Bite Treatment: First Aid, Seeking Help, and Prevention
Taking care of a dog bite Immediately treat any dog bite wounds to limit the risk of bacterial infection. If you have been bitten by a dog, get medical attention straight away. In addition, you should evaluate the wound to establish its seriousness. In certain cases, you’ll be able to perform first aid to yourself without the assistance of others. In other instances, you will require rapid medical attention. After getting bitten by a dog, whether it is yours or someone else’s, you may have feelings of disorientation.
- In this article, you will learn about the actions you should take following a dog bite, as well as how you may prevent infection.
- You can reduce the likelihood of being bitten in the future by doing so.
- Check to see if the dog’s owner is present and inquire about the dog’s immunization history, making careful to obtain the owner’s full name, phone number, and veterinarian’s contact information.
- Identify anyone who observed the incident and inquire whether they are familiar with the dog and know where the owner lives if the dog is alone and unaccompanied.
- In order to prevent rabies in your dog, be sure to stay up with his rabies vaccinations.
- The sort of first aid you provide will be influenced by the severity of the bite you are dealing with.
- As an added precaution, you might apply an antimicrobial cream to the affected region.
- This will aid in the flushing out of bacteria.
- Apply an antibiotic lotion to the affected area and wrap it with a sterile bandage to prevent infection.
All dog bite wounds, no matter how little, should be closely checked for symptoms of infection until they have completely healed, even if they appear to be healing well. Check the bite on a regular basis to see whether it develops into:
If the wound worsens, you experience discomfort, or you develop a fever, you should visit a doctor very once. Approximately one out of every five dog bites need medical attention. Always seek medical attention if a dog bites you and does one of the following:
- Is caused by a dog with an unknown rabies vaccine history, or by a dog that is acting erratically or appears to be sick
- Does not stop bleeding
- Causes intense pain
- Exposes bone, tendons, or muscle
- Causes loss of function, such as the inability to bend fingers
- Appears red, swollen, or inflamed
- Leaks pus or fluid
- Is caused by a dog that is acting erratically or appears to be sick
- Causes intense
Also get medical treatment if you have any of the following symptoms:
- You have no recollection of when you received your last tetanus injection If you are feeling weak, confused, or faint, or if you have a fever, consult your doctor.
Dog bites can result in a variety of consequences. Infections, rabies, nerve or muscle injury, and other conditions are among them.
Bacteria may survive in the mouth of any dog, including the following: Dogs may also carry MRSA, although there have been no cases of infection being transferred by a dog bite in the recent past. If the dog bite tears the skin, these germs can enter the body and cause bacterial diseases. People with compromised immune systems, such as those suffering from diabetes, may be more susceptible to infection. If you’ve been bitten by a dog and are experiencing symptoms of infection, you should consult a doctor.
Nerve and muscle damage
A deep bite has the potential to inflict damage to nerves, muscles, and blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin. This can happen even if the wound appears to be minor, as in the case of puncture marks, for example.
A large dog’s bite can result in broken, splintered, or cracked bones, especially in the legs, feet, and hands, depending on the severity of the attack. If you believe that you have a fractured bone, call for emergency medical assistance right away.
A dangerous viral infection that affects the central nervous system, rabies is a life-threatening illness. If left untreated, it has the potential to cause mortality within a few days of becoming infected. If you’ve been bitten by a dog and aren’t aware of their vaccination history, or if you know that they aren’t up to date on their rabies vaccines, get medical assistance right away.
Tetanus is a bacterial illness that affects the hands and feet. In the United States, where immunizations are frequently administered to youngsters, this is a rare occurrence. Adults should receive a booster vaccination for tetanus every ten years.
Scarring can occur as a result of a dog bite that breaks the skin. In many cases, the look of minor scarring may fade with time. This is especially true for acne scarring. Medical treatments like as grafting or plastic surgery can be used to minimize the appearance of severe scarring or scars that appear in visible regions such as the face.
The number of people who die each year as a result of dog bites in the United States is quite low. When they do occur, almost 70% of dog bite-related deaths occur in children under the age of 10 years. Any dog that bites you and displays indications of rabies, such as behaving erratically or foaming at the mouth, should be subjected to a rabies vaccine as soon as possible. RABIES is a potentially lethal disease that can be completely avoided if received prompt medical care. As a result of comprehensive immunization and preventative initiatives, rabies in humans is extremely rare in the United States, and it is almost never transmitted by dogs.
- Rabies post-exposure vaccines are available at most pharmacies.
- The therapy will also necessitate the administration of an extra injection of rabies immune globulin.
- It is possible that if this is left untreated, it will result in serious and sometimes deadly illnesses.
- Maintain wound coverage and replace bandages on a daily basis.
- Symptoms can emerge as soon as 24 hours after being bitten and can last up to 14 days, depending on the kind of illness contracted.
- If you see any indications of infection, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- It is quite likely that your doctor will recommend antibiotics for you.
- Dog bites may be frightening, and if they are not treated immediately, they can lead to significant consequences.
- Dog bites and associated repercussions are most often prevented by vaccinating your own dog against rabies and staying away from strange dogs.
Also, refrain from roughhousing or playing aggressively with dogs, even ones you are familiar with. It’s also a good idea to “leave sleeping dogs rest,” and to never disturb a dog who is feeding or taking care of pups.
How to Treat Dog Bites
According to the non-profit American Animal Hospital Association, around 5 million humans are attacked by dogs every year. Children are the most often bitten population. They are also frequently the victims of household pets. Being prepared is essential due to the high number of people who suffer from these injuries each year. You should always be prepared in the event of a dog bite, including knowing when to go to the hospital or call a doctor, as well as how to prevent infection. The sort of therapy required may vary depending on the situation—either your own first aid or medical attention.
What to Do Immediately After a Bite
You should establish some distance between yourself and the dog as soon as possible after being bitten by one. This will reduce your chances of being bitten again. Once you’ve established a safe distance between yourself and the dog, you should make an attempt to locate its owner. Perhaps he or she is in the neighborhood, or you may need to inquire with a neighbor about their location. Once the dog has been identified, enquire about the dog’s immunization history and the location of the dog’s veterinarian.
- Furthermore, you should never rule out the potential of being bitten by your own animal companion.
- It’s critical to keep up with your canine’s rabies immunizations in order to guarantee that, in the event of a bite, you can rule out the possibility of infection.
- After you’ve accomplished these basic procedures, examine the damage to assess the degree of the injury and the sort of first aid you’ll require.
- If your skin was not damaged, you may simply wash the affected region with warm water and soap and apply an antibacterial lotion to the affected area.
- If bleeding occurs immediately after the injury, gently put a clean towel over the cut to halt the flow of blood.
When to Seek Help
You should continue to monitor your wound for symptoms of infection after it has been properly cared for. If the area gets red, heated, swollen, sore, or painful, or if you develop a fever, seek medical attention right once. If the wound is more severe than the previously described injuries, you’ll need to seek medical attention right once. Among the signs and symptoms of a major injury are:
- Continuous bleeding
- Intense pain
- Exposed bones, tendons, or muscle
- Loss of function
- Swelling and redness
- The presence of fluid or pus
If the assault was perpetrated by a dog whose vaccination history is unclear or who looks to be unwell, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Make arrangements for someone to transport you to the hospital or healthcare institution.
What Can a Dog Bite Cause?
It is critical to get to the hospital as quickly as possible after being bitten by a dog since dog bites can result in a variety of consequences, including:
- Infection, nerve and muscle damage, broken bones, rabies, tetanus, scarring, and death are all possibilities.
How to Prevent InfectionRabies
When you seek medical assistance, you can avoid contracting an infection or contracting rabies. It is necessary for your doctor to deliver a rabies post-exposure vaccination, which is performed in a series of four shots over a period of several weeks. In addition, a rabies immune globulin injection will be administered. Antibiotics, either orally or intravenously, may be prescribed by a doctor for one to two weeks in order to avoid infection. Despite the fact that a tetanus vaccination is effective for 10 years, your doctor may recommend a booster dose to strengthen your resistance.
How a Plastic Surgeon Can Effectively Treat a Dog Bite
A dog bite, as opposed to, example, a knife wound, can be more difficult to treat and heal. Patients who are accidently sliced by a traditional knife suffer a straight line injury, whereas dog bites result in tooth marks, puncture wounds, rips, and damage to tissues, tendons, and nerves in the affected area. Plastic surgeons that are board certified are often capable of treating difficult wounds, punctures, and other lacerations. Reconstructive surgeons are also familiar with the procedure of transplanting bone or muscle into various bodily locations.
- He is qualified to do the reconstructive surgery required to effectively restore function while ensuring little scarring is left behind.
- Please call us at (516) 864-0700 for urgent assistance if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.
- Buglino can meet you at the hospital or at his facilities, depending on the severity of your condition.
- Buglino can get you through the procedure more quickly.
First Aid: Animal Bites (for Parents)
Animal bites and scratches that induce a break in the skin can occasionally result in infection. Some bites necessitate the use of sutures, but others heal on their own. Bites from wild animals can, on rare occasions, result in rabies, a potentially fatal infection. The majority of rabies cases are caused by bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.
What to Do
- Soap and water should be used to clean the bitten area. If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure on it using sterile gauze or a clean towel to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding has stopped, apply antibiotic ointment to the affected region
- Otherwise, let it alone. Cover the area with a bandage or sterile gauze to prevent infection. If your kid is experiencing pain, offer him or her acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Get Medical Care If:
- Wild or stray animals
- Pets who are not up to date on rabies vaccinations
- Animals that are acting suspiciously
- These are all examples of animals that should be reported.
- The biting has caused the skin to be broken
- The bite occurs on the face, on the head, on the neck, on the hand, on the foot, or near a joint. Symptoms of a bite or scrape include redness, heat, swelling, and increased discomfort. Your youngster is behind on vaccinations or has not gotten an atetanus injection in the last five years
If your kid need medical attention, make sure you have the following information on hand:
- The type of animal that bitten your kid
- The date of the animal’s last rabies vaccine, if known
- Any recent aberrant behavior by the animal
- The animal’s location, if known
- And any other information you can provide about the animal that bit your child. the animal was a stray or wild animal that had been seized by a local animal control organization
- The vaccination (shots) history of your child
- Your child’s medical history, including a note of any medications that he or she is allergic to
Many animal attacks may be avoided if you take the proper precautions. Always keep a watchful check on small children while they are around animals, especially if they are pets. Tease pets, handle them carefully, and keep them away from wild or stray animals are all things that should be taught to children.
Bite Wounds In Dogs
An injury caused by a bite wound is one of the most common reasons dogs see their vets for emergency visits.
It is possible that the bite wound was inflicted by another household dog or that it was caused by a struggle with a foreign or unknown animal.
Why do dogs bite?
When pups play aggressively, biting is a common component of the game. Biting or other aggressive actions in adult dogs can be motivated or caused by a variety of different factors or motivations. When communicating or resolving competing concerns or perceived threats, aggressive behaviors like as growling, lunging, snarling, snapping, or biting are utilized, they are referred to as aggressive behaviors. Competing for food, territory, the attention of an owner, a place in a pack or group, or as a defensive reaction against another dog are all possible outcomes of this behavior.
How serious are dog bite wounds?
Dog bites can result in serious harm to the skin and soft tissues of the victim. The teeth and jaws of a dog are extremely powerful, and the wounds they inflict can crush or tear muscles and skin, puncture through the chest wall and induce lung collapse, or cause significant or deadly damage to the digestive organs, depending on the severity of the injury. Even a bite that does not induce a breach in the skin can cause crushing or bruising damage to the soft tissues under the surface of the skin.
- Critical structures in the neck that are susceptible to injury include major blood arteries, many nerves, theesophagus (tube linking the throat to the stomach), and thetrachea (tube connecting the throat to the windpipe) (windpipe).
- When a bite wound occurs on the legs, there is a possibility that the damage will affect the joints.
- As a result, all bite wounds are presumed to be contaminated and/or infected at this time.
- When a penetrating bite wound occurs, it has the potential to produce septic arthritis (infection of the joint), osteomyelitis (infection of the bone), pyothorax (pus in the chest cavity), or septicperitonitis (infection of the intestine) (pus in the abdominal cavity).
Does my dog need to be seen by the veterinarian after it has been in a fight?
Skin and soft tissue injuries from dog bites can be extremely painful and disfiguring. The teeth and jaws of a dog are extremely powerful, and the wounds they inflict can crush or tear muscles and skin, puncture through the chest wall and induce lung collapse, or cause significant or deadly damage to the digestive organs, depending on the severity of the wound. It is possible for a bite to produce crushing or bruising damage to the soft tissues under the skin even if it does not break the skin.
Major blood arteries, many nerves, theesophagus (tube linking the throat to the stomach), and thetrachea are all important structures in the neck that are susceptible to injury (windpipe).
The risk of harm to the joints is higher when a bite wound is sustained on the legs.
Because of this, all bite wounds are regarded as contaminated and/or infected by the parasite.
A penetrating bite wound can result in septic arthritis (infection of the joint), osteomyelitis (infection of the bone), pyothorax (pus in the chest cavity), or septic peritonitis (infection of the intestine) (pus in the abdominal cavity).
What should I look for to determine how quickly my dog needs to see the veterinarian?
A few symptoms necessitate the need for rapid emergency medical attention. Uncontrollable bleeding (bleeding that cannot be stopped), trouble breathing, weakness, sobbing or wailing, limping, pale or blue gums, and collapse are all symptoms of meningitis.
What sort of treatment will be given to my dog?
Based on the severity of the injuries, your dog’s overall health, and the location of the wounds, your veterinarian will choose the appropriate course of treatment. When an infection occurs, the objective of therapy is to lessen the severity of the condition. To do this, the wounds will be cleaned and any dead or badly damaged tissue will be removed. If surgical closure of the wounds is possible, the wounds will be closed surgically. In the case of bite wounds that have pierced the skin, antibiotics may be administered depending on where the wound is located and how long it has been since the bite occurred before the wound was shown to your veterinarian.
- To reduce the likelihood of a major infection developing, your veterinarian may prescribe a wide spectrum antibiotic (such as amoxicillin-clavulanate or, in more difficult instances, enrofloxacin; brand nameBaytril®) to reduce the likelihood of a serious infection developing.
- Those who receive treatment for their injuries within 6 hours of the incident have the highest chance of recovering completely and without problems.
- In order to reduce the risk of future contamination, your veterinarian will shave away any fur from the skin that surrounds the wounds before flushing the wounds to eliminate any pathogens and debris.
- This will allow the area to be cleaned and treated thoroughly while keeping your dog safe and comfortable during the procedure.
- Small puncture wounds will normally be left exposed to allow any infection to drain out as quickly as possible.
- Lacerations will be stitched closed and temporary drains implanted.
- (any infected or compromised skin tissue will be cut away and the edges of the laceration will be trimmed).
- Experts recommend that bacterial culture and sensitivity tests be undertaken in order to establish the type of bacteria implicated and the most effective antibiotics to use in order to treat these germs.
Due to the fact that the results of these tests take a few days to get back, your veterinarian may decide not to do these tests unless your pet’s wounds do not react properly to first wide spectrum antibiotic therapy.
What sort of home care will be necessary?
If your dog’s wounds have been stitched shut, you’ll need to keep the area clean and dry until the stitches come out. If necessary, an E-collar (see handout “Elizabethan Collars in Dogs”) or a bandage may be put to the affected area (see handout “Bandage and Splint Care in Dogs”) to protect the area from further injury. It is necessary to clear away any draining material from the wound on a frequent basis if it has been allowed to heal openly or if a drain has been installed in the wound. To remove debris, a soft washcloth or cotton balls can be used in conjunction with warm water.
Only products that have been prescribed by your veterinarian should be used.
You should proceed with extra caution if you have been asked to clean the wounds since the wounds may be severe and the pet may bite out of pain or fear.
What can I do to prevent bite wounds?
Allowing your dog to roam freely is not recommended, and keeping your dog on a leash when you are outside is recommended, especially if you are in a park. Dogs that are well-behaved are less prone to fight, therefore basic obedience training should be started at a young age for the best results. If you are walking your dog in the park and you come across a stray dog that is running loose, do not approach it. Even if your dog is kind and sociable, you have no way of knowing what the other dog’s temperament will be like until you meet.
What should I do if another dog bites my dog?
While getting bitten by another dog might feel like it happened out of nowhere, learning to recognize and understand the signals that another dog is fearful or nervous may assist you to avoid having your pup bitten in the first place. Dogs, on the whole, are not out looking for trouble. In fact, they will go out of their way to avoid being in a harmful or confrontational scenario. In order to do this, a dog will often emit a series of warning signs before biting. The first and most crucial thing to remember is that fear or anxiety in dogs can be caused by a present circumstance or it can be triggered by previous experiences.
Signs of a Fearful or Anxious Dog that May Bite
Watch for symptoms of nervousness or fear in other dogs whether you are out for a walk with your dog or at the off-leash park with your dog. Growling, snapping, lunging, snarling, and baring fangs are among of the more visible and well-known indications to be on the lookout for. That being said, a nervous or anxious dog would most likely begin by sending off more subtle indications such as licking his lips, turning his face away, attempting to walk away, ears flattened and back, yawning, or crouching before becoming more obvious.
If you see a dog nearby that is displaying any of these signals, pick up your pet and leave as quietly and swiftly as possible. Placing a physical barrier between your dog and the dangerous dog, such as a fence or a parked car, can be beneficial in preventing your dog from being attacked.
Steps to Take if Your Dog is Bitten by Another Dog
Even though you are aware of the dangers and are on the lookout for early warning signals, unexpected events might occur. If your dog is bitten or gets into a fight with another dog, follow these steps to ensure that your dog’s well-being is preserved:
- Maintain your composure and avoid panicking, since this will only make your dog more fearful. Don’t put yourself between the dogs in order to break up a fight. It is possible that you will be bitten as a result of this. Ensure that you concentrate on your dog and that you separate your pup from the other dog. (The other property owner should be following suit.) A loud clap to distract the dogs may be effective, followed by the call of your dog. Never yell at the other dog, and avoid making eye contact with him whenever possible, since this may make him feel more intimidated. Inquire of the other dog owner for information such as their contact information and whether or not their dog has had all of its vaccinations. If the other pet owner is not there or is unwilling to cooperate, take photographs if possible. Once you and your pup have been securely separated from the other dog, call your veterinarian for advice and to let them know you are on your way, or go to the nearest emergency animal hospital.
Assessing Your Dog’s Injury
While it may seem clear that a huge dog bite that is bleeding profusely requires quick veterinarian attention, you may not realize that a tiny dog bite can still represent a major health danger. A dog bite can cause serious injury or death if it is not treated immediately. The earliest possible examination by a veterinarian should be sought for any bite wounds, no matter how minor or severe they appear to be.
Why You Should Take Your Dog to The Vet After a Bite
A puncture hole of even the smallest size can be a substantial source of concern due to the high likelihood of infection. When your dog gets bitten, the tooth not only produces a small hole in the skin, but it also creates a pocket below the skin, which offers an ideal habitat for bacteria (which originates from the aggressor’s mouth) to grow and cause an illness to develop. A pocket of bacteria develops within the pocket of skin as a result of the small size of the hole in the skin, which allows it to quickly multiply and develop into an abscess.
When a dog bite occurs, the major worry is usually infection; but, depending on the location and severity of the bite, additional significant health complications might arise.
- Accumulation of pus in the chest cavity or belly cavity (cellulitis, or tissue infection)
What to Expect When You Visit the Vet
When your pup’s bite wound is examined by the veterinarian, the depth of the wound as well as the quantity of ‘dead space’ generated by the bite will be taken into consideration. It is the pocket formed when skin is peeled away from the subcutaneous tissue that is referred to as dead space. Generally speaking, the greater the amount of dead space, the greater the danger of infection. The indicators of additional physical injuries including as nerve damage, broken bones, or bleeding under the skin will be checked for by your veterinarian as well.
Treatment For Your Dog’s Bite Wound
Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as amoxicillin-clavulanate or enrofloxacin, after doing a thorough inspection and cleaning of the wound. This will help combat infection and prevent an abscess from forming in the wound. In the instance of deeper, more serious bite wounds, your veterinarian may prescribe surgical removal of the injured tissue and the placement of a drain to assist the body in ridding itself of any infection that has accumulated. Diagnostic tests, including as x-rays or ultrasounds, may also be recommended by your veterinarian in some circumstances to screen for injuries that are not immediately apparent but that have the potential to be life-threatening.
It is possible that your veterinarian will prescribe pain relievers to make your dog more comfortable throughout the healing process, depending on how severe the wound is.
Cleaning the Bite Wound
If you are unable to go to a veterinarian straight away, it is critical to clean the wound as quickly as possible and to keep it clean for as long as possible.
- Wash the bite wound with soap and water and wipe it dry with a clean towel. To aid in the killing of germs, swab the wound with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidene, or betadine before applying pressure. (It should be noted that the continual use of hydrogen peroxide to the wound is not suggested since it might interfere with the healing process.) Apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to the wound after it has been dried with a clean, dry gauze pad.
Keeping the wound clean and preventing your dog from licking the area are critical. Clean the wound three to four times each day, and reapply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection if necessary.
How You Can Help Your Dog Heal Following a Dog Bite
Preventing an infection from spreading to your dog’s bite wound will be your first responsibility at all times. It is critical to keep your dog from licking the wound in order to achieve this goal. While many pet parents are uncomfortable with the idea of forcing their dog to wear an e-collar (also known as an Elizabethan collar or a “cone of shame”), these collars are extremely effective. If your dog is very unhappy while wearing a cone, there are softer and less obtrusive alternatives available online, such as the Kong Cloud Collar, that are effective.
It is critical to provide antibiotics as indicated and for the whole duration of the prescription.
Stopping antibiotic therapy too soon might cause the illness to resurface with a vengeance, making it more difficult to treat and cure.
Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian in order to receive an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s ailment.
Has your dog been bitten by another dog?Contact our Winston-Salem vetsor ourafter hours emergency partnersto receive urgent veterinary care for your pup. At Animal Hospital of Clemmons our vets provide emergency veterinary care for pets in Clemmons and the greater Winston-Salem area.
The following procedures should be followed to care for a minor animal bite or claw wound, such as one that simply tears the skin:
- Soap and water should be used to completely clean the wound. Using an antibiotic cream or ointment, apply it to the bite and cover it with a clean bandage.
Seek prompt medical care if:
- If the wound is a deep puncture or if you are unsure about the severity of the wound, call 911. It is necessary to apply immediate pressure to the wound with a bandage or clean cloth to halt the bleeding if the skin is badly ripped, crushed, or bleeding substantially. You observe swelling, redness, discomfort, or seeping that is becoming worse, which are all indicators of an infection developing
- It is possible that you have questions regarding your risk of contracting rabies, or about rabies prevention. Check to see if the cat or dog that bit you had a current rabies vaccine before treating him or her for it. If the bite was caused by a wild animal, consult your doctor for information on which species are most likely to carry rabies in their saliva. Bats are frequently carriers of rabies and are capable of infecting humans without leaving visible indications of a bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that persons who come into contact with bats — or even those who are asleep and awaken to discover a bat in their bedroom — seek medical counsel regarding rabies vaccinations, even if they do not believe they have been bitten. The wound is deep or dirty, and you have not received a tetanus shot in the last ten years (or five years if the wound is deep or unclean). It is possible that you will require a booster shot.
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- Thompson, David A. An animal has bitten you. In: Adult Telephone Protocols Office Version, 4th edition, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2019
- Bats, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019
- Adult Telephone Protocols Office Version, 4th edition, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2019. This page was last modified on September 29, 2020. Baddour, L.M., and colleagues The evaluation and management of animal bites (from dogs, cats, and other animals). This page was last modified on September 29, 2020.
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What To Do If You’re Bitten By A Dog
When a dog bites you, there are many different reasons for it to happen, from a teething puppy pinching you to being attacked by a random dog on the street. When dealing with dog bites, there are a number of actions that must be taken, but what should be done depends on the circumstances and severity of the damage. Listed below is our advise for coping with dog attacks, beginning with what to do in every situation. Wounds on the Skin’s Surface If the scrape or gash is only superficial, rinse the wound with running water before applying hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol.
Puncture Wounds are a type of wound that is punctured.
With the exception of severe bleeding or blood that is streaming out violently, or the wound is in your head or neck (in which case contact 911 immediately), you should wait five minutes after the injury occurs.
Determine whether you can stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure after five minutes.
If the bleeding does stop, clean the wound by washing it under running water for five minutes with mild soap and water.
These have the potential to delay recovery.
Fortunately, dog bites do not typically leave debris or other materials in the wound that would need the removal of these objects.
Contact animal control as quickly as possible so that they may attempt to catch the dog, and dial 911 so that you can begin rabies vaccines as soon as possible.
Make careful to clean and disinfect the wound properly after any animal bite because all animal bites have the potential to spread germs and cause illness.
It’s what they do, first while they’re teething, and then later when they’re attempting to establish authority over the environment they’re in.
It bites you because you’re present, because it feels something soft on its tongue, and because it has teeth.
Two things must be kept in mind in order to cope with it.
It’s painful when a puppy nips your leg; but, the less you respond to it, the less significance the puppy will place on it.
This will divert her attention away from her natural impulse to bite, and gradually educate her not to do so in the future.
Getting Rid of a Bites from Your Dog After you’ve completed the standard procedures, you should investigate the reasons of the bite.
You shouldn’t be concerned about your dog biting you again in the future, either.
She won’t make the connection between punishment now and what she did in the past, therefore it will just cause her confusion.
For a short period of time, refrain from speaking, touching, or making eye contact with anyone.
First and foremost, visit your veterinarian if your dog suddenly nips at you without any obvious cause.
If there are no evident medical reasons for the bite, you must investigate the events that occurred prior to the bite.
Then you must work with your dog to eradicate any nascent aggressiveness by creating rules, limits, and restrictions.
The Best Way to Handle a Dog Bite From Someone Else You should exchange names and contact information with the dog’s owner if he or she is present so that you may obtain confirmation of rabies vaccination from them.
Once this is completed, consult with the dog’s veterinarian to ensure that the rabies vaccine is up to date.
Have you ever been bitten by a dog? What caused that to happen? Tell us everything about it in the comments section.