If I am bitten how should I care for a dog bite
* Always wash the dog bite
with soap and warm water, try to get any dirt, saliva, or any other particles washed out of your wound.
* Apply pressure with a clean cloth or towel to the dog bite
to stop any bleeding, if the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes you should proceed to a doctors office or emergency room.
* Apply a sterile bandage to the wounded area once bleeding stops.
* Keep the injured area elevated above your heart, doing this will help to slow the swelling and will also help to prevent infection which is very important, infection is one of the greatest dangers
* Report the dog bite
to your local authorities, either the animal control or police department.
* Apply antibiotic ointment to the area twice a day until it is healed, if it is a small bite the antibiotic can be purchased from your local super store, however for a more serious dog bite
a doctor can give you a stronger antibiotic.
For more severe dog bite
s you will need to call your doctor these situations include
If you have a dog bite
on your hand, foot, or head, or if the dog bite
is deep and could require stitches a doctor should be contacted immediately.
If you have a disease such as diabetes, liver or lung disease, any form of cancer, AIDS/HIV, or any other condition that has the possibility of weakening your body’s ability to fight off infection you should contact a doctor immediately.
If you see any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, increased temperature (either to your entire body or to the affected area), tenderness, oozing of pus from the wound, or a fever you should see a doctor immediately
If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes with or without applying pressure to he wound you should see a doctor immediately.
If you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years you should see a doctor immediately.
If you are unsure of the immunization status of the pet whom bit you, you should see a doctor immediately.
If a dog bite
s me, will I need a rabies
The simple answer is probably not, these days rabies
is an uncommon disease for dogs and cats in the United States. Through vaccinations, and bi-annual veterinary checkups rabies
is now far more controlled than it was in the past. If the dog who bit you appears to be healthy at the time of the bite (not acting aggressive, drooling or frothing at the mouth, dilated pupils, anxiety, etc), it was probably not infected with rabies
. However we still recommend visiting your doctor or the emergency room if there are any doubts. It is better to be safe than sorry as rabies
is a serious health risk, and can easily be treated if caught in time.
If you happen to know the owner of the dog who bit you, you should start by asking to see the vaccination records, these should be on file and can also be obtained from the dogs veterinarian. A dog which has bitten a person is often quarantined for 10 days to make sure that it is not showing any signs of rabies
(this can happen if the dog was recently infected), if the dog shows any signs of sickness during the 10 day period, a veterinarian will test it for rabies
, if the dog is infected you will need a series of rabies
shots. Rabies shots usually consist of a regimen of 6 shots over a 28 day period.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in an astounding 800,000 injuries that require medical attention. With more than 50 percent of the bites occurring on the dog owner’s property, the issue is a major concern for insurers.
Over the years, many states have passed laws with penalties for owners of dogs that cause serious injuries or deaths. In about a third of states, owners are "strictly liable" for their dogs' behavior or aggresivness, while in the rest of the country they are liable only if they knew or should have known their dogs had a propensity to bite (known as the "one free bite" principle).
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