Dog bites
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Dog bites

Dog bites or dog attacks are attack on humans by domestic dogs. Since as humans we are very close to dogs which may be the cause for minor to major attacks.

Injuries may occur deeper which may go deeper inside the skin including muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels. It may cause septic and carries the risk of transmitting tetanus and rabies.

If the injuries are minor (Barely breaks the skin) treat them with running water using soap and antibiotic cream and loose sterile bandage. Cleaning of wound decreases the risk of infection.

It is highly recommended to consult with doctor if the bites are deeper and cause tearing of muscles & infected.

Children are more likely to be bitten by dogs than adults.

Treatment for Dog bites:

For minor bites:

  • 1. Most of the dogs’ bites are minor which can be treated at home itself. Depending on the skin breaks the wounds are treated. Seek medical attention if wound are severe.
  • 2. Antibacterial soap can be used to wash the wound with plenty of water to clean the germs around the wound which comes from dogs bite.
  • 3. The bleeding has to stop or slow down before bandage the wound. For that a clean towel is used to apply pressure on the wound. Bleeding will stop in several minutes after applying pressure. If it continues seek medical attention.
  • 4. To prevent infections as wound heal apply ointment such as Neosporin or Bacitracin as directed in the label.
  • 5. Once the ointment applied bandage the wound by applying enough pressure to prevent the injury.
  • 6. Bandage has to change regularly which may help in healing of wound rapidly.
  • 7. Tetanus immunization is required after a dog bite.
  • 8. We need to keep an eye on the infection if the wound is developing such as
    • Swelling
    • Redness around the wound
    • Worsening pain.
    • fever
  • 9. Try to determine the rabies vaccine of the dog. Even minor bites may cause Rabies. If you’re not sure of vaccine status then the dog should be observed for 15 days for any sign of rabies. It is highly recommended to consult the doctor for minor bites.

For Severe dog bites:

1. It may have one or more severe punctures on the muscles due to dogs bite. These punctures are followed by the tearing of the tissues. Some may leads to sign of bone or joint damage. Some needs immediate attention they are:

  • If the wound is deep enough more than two centimeter.
  • If bleeding from the wound not stopped after 15 minutes.
  • If wound develops and could see fat, muscle and bone.

2. It is good to apply pressure on the wound to slow the bleeding before reaching to the doctor.

3. After reaching to the doctor, the treatment includes for stopping of bleeding and to determine whether sutures is required or not. If the bite is severe that he may go for x-ray to determine the proper medical suggestion or treatment. If he feels that you are at high risk for infection then he prescribes amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) for 2-3 days.

Prevention of Dog bite:

Dog bites often happens due to miscommunication between the Dog and the victim. Most of the dog bites happened occurs at home with dogs that are familiar to us compared to stray dog.

Prevention starts with:

  • We need to be careful while choosing the dog breed. While choosing the breed it is important to keep in mind about our family circumstances.
  • Dogs which are aggressive are not suitable for choosing as a pet.
  • Dogs are social animals; therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites.

Who is most at risk for dog bites?

Children: They are more often affected by the dogs bite. The rate of injuries is highest for those between 5 to 9 years old. Compared to adults they are more affected and require immediate medical attention. Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.

Men: Men are more likely to be affected than women.

Safety tips to prevent Dog bites:

One of the first steps in preventing dog bites is recognizing situations that can make a dog more likely to bite.

Protective moms: It is highly suggested not to go nearer to mother dog that is taking care for her puppies.

Dogs that are off leash: If it approaches you with off leash, don’t run away and yell or not to make loud noise. Stop! Stay still and be calm. Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.

Respect a dog's space: It is advised not to place the hand casual on the dog's fence or other property immediately before it recognizes you.

Be careful around sick and old dogs: Compared to younger ones they may be more irritable so approach them with more caution.

Other tips include:

  • Not to approach the unfamiliar dog or stray dogs if the owner is not present around.
  • Prior to contact with the dog, ask the owner if OK to pet the dog is.
  • Don’t approach any unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
  • Do not leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.