According to the American Animal Hospital Association, around 5 million people are bitten annually by dogs. The largest number of dogs bitten is: Children. They are often the victims of family pets.
These injuries are common and can be devastating for many people. Knowing what to do after dog bite, how to avoid infection and when to call the doctor are important. Each situation will require different types of treatment, whether you are providing your own first aid or seeking medical care.
How to Treat a Dog Bite?
What to do After Dog Bite? 11 Dog Bite Treatments at Home
To lower the chance of a second bite, it is important to distance yourself from any dog bites. After you have put some distance between yourself, the dog and you, it is time to search for its owner. It’s possible that they are nearby. If not, you can ask a neighbor. Once the dog is identified, you can ask about its vaccination history and get contact information for the veterinarian. For any other questions, it is best to obtain the name and contact information of the owner.
Always be prepared for anything. Know when to get to a hospital and what to do to prevent infection. If you have been bit, you need to be aware of what to do.
- You should remove all objects that might be causing irritation, such as dirt or hair.
- Apply a dressing or plaster to the wound.
- You can encourage the wound’s bleeding by gently pinching it, unless it is already bleeding freely.
- Apply a dressing or plaster to the wound. Dry it.
- All dog bites on children and infants need to be treated immediately.
- The dog should be kept in a calm environment.
- To avoid further injury and bites, it is important to get away from any dog that may have bit you or your companion.
- Use a sterile bandage for the wound.
- Keep the wound clean and go to your doctor.
- Once the wound has been examined by your doctor, it is important to change the bandage often.
- Daily apply antibiotics to the wound to prevent infection.
Dog Treatment at Home
- Assess the wound first. If there is no blood, you can wash the bite immediately with soap or water.
- For bleeding wounds, use a clean cloth to press down for about 5 minutes until the bleeding stops.
- After that, clean the affected area using soap and water. A dog bite infection can be prevented by washing the area liberally with warm water.
- To avoid swelling and infection, keep the affected areas above the heart. You can cover any wounds that are open with a loose bandage.
- A minor dog bite, such as a Level 1 to 3 bite, can usually be treated at home. Make sure to clean the wound regularly and look out for signs of infection like redness or swelling.
There is always the chance of your pet getting bit. If this happens, you should use the same procedure, making sure that you don’t get infected. It is important to ensure your canine has the latest rabies shots to prevent any infection.
Once you’ve done these first steps, evaluate the severity of the injury and decide what kind of first aid is required. Minor injuries may be handled by you.
Wash the skin with warm soapy water, then apply antibacterial lotion. For a cut, apply the same precautions, except that you may need to gently press the wound to stop any further bleeding. To stop bleeding that has started at the injury site, apply a damp cloth to the area. Apply antibacterial lotion to the area and wrap it with a sterile bandage.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Dog bite wounds become large, deep, gaping and uncontrollable over the last 15 minutes.
- If you are a diabetic, a cancer patient, or have AIDS.
- After cleaning the wound, if you feel the bite has severed the skin, contact emergency medical care immediately.
- If you have any other conditions that lower your immunity.
- If the wound continues to bleeding after applying pressure for 15 mins,
- A dog bite can cause tissue or nerve damage.
- If you have not received a tetanus injection in the last five-years.
- If you are bitten in the stomach by a stray, or unidentified dog.
- The victim has a weaker immune system.
- The victim was bitten in the mouth by a wild or feral dog.
- The bite has caused severe skin damage. The possibility of tetanus infections may be reduced by administering a tetanus vaccine
DOG BITE INFECTION SYMPTOMS Capnocytophaga
- There may be redness, swelling, or pain around the wound.
- joint pain
- Wounds that ooze
- You can get diarrhea and vomiting.
- Blistering around the wound
After a dog attack, symptoms can develop between 1 and 14 days. There are several factors that increase the chance of infection.
A lack of a spleen
Chemotherapy and other medications that can harm cells are not recommended.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
Conditions that have a negative impact on the immune system.
Rabies in Humans – Dog Bite Symptoms
- A dog that has rabies can bite someone and cause rabies.
- You may experience headaches, fever, or other flu-like symptoms.
- The bite may feel itchy or prickly.
- Neglecting to receive treatment can make rabies fatal. If someone suspects that a dog bit them, they should immediately see a doctor. Post exposure rabies vaccination is possible to treat the infection.
How to Avoid Dog Bite in Future? – Prevention
American Veterinary Medical Association advises dog owners to socialize their pet and train them so that they feel at ease with other animals. It also recommends spending time with your pet so that they don’t feel lonely and anxious.
It is important to teach children good behavior and safety around dogs. The CDC suggests the following tips to teach young children safety measures around dogs.
Dog bites are responsible for the majority of animal bites. Here are some tips to help decrease the chance of being bit:
You should never allow a young child to leave the dog alone, no matter how old it is. The Blue Dog website contains educational resources designed to help children build a trusting relationship with their dogs.
Treat dogs with respect. You should not approach them suddenly, shout at them, or interrupt them while they are eating or sleeping.
- Avoid touching and petting dogs you don’t know – greet a dog when it is your first time greeting it.
- It’s also a smart idea to avoid any contact with wild or abandoned animals, especially while you’re traveling abroad.
- They can be aggressive. There’s a possibility they could have serious infections like Rabies.
- Do not run or scream towards a dog.
- If you are knocked on the head by a pet dog, roll into an oval and lie down.
- Do not approach an untrained dog.
- Playing with dogs who are feeding their puppies is not a good idea.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Do not touch a dog without allowing the dog to smell you.
- Don’t disturb a puppy who is sleeping or eating.
- Prospective dog owners must spend quality time with their dog before making any commitments.
How to Prevent Infection and Rabies?
When you seek medical attention, you can avoid infection and rabies. A rabies vaccination post-exposure will be administered by your doctor. It takes four injections and is usually given over several weeks. You may also receive a rabies immuneglobulin injection. Doctors may give intravenous and oral antibiotics that can be administered for one to two week to prevent infection. A tetanus shot is good for ten years. Your doctor may prescribe a booster shot to improve your resistance. In order to reduce scarring from severe wounds, you may need stitches.
How a Plastic Surgery Can Effectively Treat a Dog Bite?
It can be more difficult for a dog bite to be treated than a knife-cut. Patients who accidentally are slashed with a traditional knife will suffer a straight line injury. Dog bites cause tears, puncture wounds or teeth marks and can also damage tissues, tendons, and nervous systems. A majority of complex wounds, punctures, or other lacerations can be treated by board certified plastic surgeons.
Increased infection risk due to bacteria from bites
Dog bites can introduce bacteria to approximately 50% of dogs, including pasteurella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus.
Frequent and unvaccinated can carry and transmit rabies to other dogs, so make sure your doctor knows details about any dog that bit you.
Your doctor will evaluate the injury to determine if it was severe enough to cause damage to the muscles, nerves or bones. The doctor will then thoroughly clean the area to remove dirt and bacteria.
Sometimes sutures can be used to close a dog bite wound. But this practice is controversial. Sutures can be useful in reducing scarring but can also increase the risk for infection. It depends on where the injury is located. A dog bite on the face might be sutured to avoid visible scarring. Plastic surgery may also be needed for deep wounds that are causing severe damage.
What will the Doctor do for you?
Your doctor can also help prevent infection. It’s very rare for dogs in the U.S. with rabies. But if the dog is ill or they test positive for it, you’ll need to get a rabies vaccination. This will be a series of two weeks’ worth of shots. The dog must be put to sleep and their brains tested for rabies. The doctor will also verify that you have been vaccinated against tetanus.
For a preventive or treatment purpose, antibiotics may be required for seven to fourteen days. The doctor may ask that you return within one to three working days to have any injuries rechecked.
If you are not sure who the dog bit, report it to your local animal control officer or the police.
How to Prevent your Children from a Dog Bite?
You are laying on the floor with your young child and your golden retriever, creating a castle from blocks. After a few moments, you either look down at the book or step into another room. And then you hear it. A short snarl and a cry from a child who’s just been bit. The thought flashes through you as you rush to help. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVA), dog bites were the 11th leading cause for non-fatal injuries to children aged 1 to 4 years between 2003 and 2012.
They’re the number nine leading cause to injury in children between 5 and 9, and 10 to 14 years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2013, 26,935 reconstructive surgeries were performed to repair injuries from dog bites. The AVMA states that most bites to children younger than 5 years old occur during their normal activities and are usually caused by dogs they know.
Can your Pet Dog Bite Just Like a Stray Dog?
It is not unusual for strange dogs to cause bites. However, it does not have to be the barking dog from down the street. It could also be from a furry member of the family. It’s important to learn how dogs communicate with one another and prepare children and their pets for successful interactions. There are acceptable ways to interact and communicate with strange dogs. However, we forget to be careful with our family pets.
Even the most happy-golucky dog may snap under certain circumstances. Does your dog feel fearful, ill or threatened? Is the dog guarding food, toys, or food? Dogs can give warning bites to children, most often a bite of the snout. If the youngster is not a dog, however, it can cause serious injuries. Experts on dog behavior are available to provide a wealth of information regarding how to stop a child getting bitten by a familiar pet.
She states that most dogs will tolerate handling by children. Sometimes, stressed dogs might respond to stressful situations by snapping, growling and/or lunging.
To keep everyone safe, it’s important to have controlled, supervised interactions with young children and dogs. This allows dogs to exercise their freedom when necessary and monitors the dog’s body language throughout interactions so that both child and dog are having fun.
Dogs are tolerant of certain things for long periods. For instance, they will tolerate a veterinarian touching their paws or their adult owner touching their skin, but stop accepting it when a child’s unpredictable movements do the same.
A family dog might behave well 99.9% of the time. Sometimes, a dog can get upset during an interaction. This is when disaster strikes. Even a reactive bite from a dog could have serious consequences for the child.
Active supervision refers to being in the same space and paying attention, even dogs, to what is happening in the room. Active supervision doesn’t mean that you can be in the room and not distracted by your phone, tablet or computer. Not only is it for the child’s good, but a parent can also monitor the dog’s body language so that the dog feels relaxed and comfortable. A parent can keep an eye on the dog to identify signs of stress, anxiety, frustration, and excitement. This will help prevent any bites.
Parents are often frustrated by the need to supervise their dog. She reminds parents that dogs and children can be separated if the parent needs to focus on another thing or must leave the room. This could be as simple a dog going to a different room or hiding behind a gate for children, or even putting them in a crate.
2. Your Dog Requires Space
Negative interactions are most likely to occur when a dog feels trapped and is trying to escape from a child. Wan says this can occur in tight spaces like hallways and between pieces of furniture such as a couch and coffee tables, or in corners where furniture blocks any possibility of the dog getting away. Dogs can be excellent at handling situations but they may feel trapped when a child is clamoring for them or grasping them. Your home should be spacious enough for your dog to roam freely without being in danger. This means arranging furniture to allow for easy escape routes. It also requires that you be attentive when children interact with your dog.
Shryock refers the cramped spaces as “grumble areas” and “growlzones”. Grumble zones include hallways and stairways that can get crowded. These are areas where infants or children who are just starting to crawl are likely to be interested in going.
“It is crucial that dogs have many opportunities to escape. We urge parents to pay attention when their dogs check in with them. This includes looking and engaging with eyes. A dog’s gaze, even subtly, at another dog, often means they are looking for praise or guidance. My Siberian Husky might be just relaxing in the living area, when my daughter enters. I ask my dog to come and check in, so he says, “Come here.” Now, I have given him an opportunity for me to pay attention to him while my daughter moves around. He can choose to leave the area and go to another room or to sit beside me.
Make sure you have some rules in place for interactions
If your dog is sensitive to touch, such as paws, tails, or hugging, be sure that your child understands the triggers. Only interact with your dog in a way your dog likes.
Dogs are good at avoiding situations. To keep the interaction going, make sure your child does not pursue the dog. The dog stated clearly that he does not want to be played with or petted.
Another scenario that can lead to a dog bite is when kids pick up smaller dogs. Dr. Michele Wan of Advanced Dog Behavior Solutions states that some dogs become afraid of being handled or picked up by children. If Wan ignores his warnings, the dog might bite because he feels frustrated or afraid about being constantly lifted.
Wan, along with many dog behaviorists, agree on another important rule: No hugging or kissing dogs unless you are 110 percent certain your dog likes it. It means the dog isn’t just tolerating it but actually enjoying it.
Do not assume that your dog is tolerating close, uncomfortable contact. Dogs that are stiff or unable to move around will show signs such as yawning, closing their mouths, not allowing eye contact, tightening his ears, or leaning away. If your dog displays any of the above signs, it is crucial to enforce the no hugging or kissing rule. This is especially relevant considering the AVMA’s report that approximately 66% of bites to children take place on the neck or head.
3. If your Dog is Asleep, Don’t Bother Her
Teach children that dogs should go to bed and crate. The dog should be allowed to sleep in the crate. A dog requires a safe place that is comfortable and secure. A dog crate should be covered in blankets, and located near a family room such as the living room or other areas of your home where you spend a lot of time. Avoid isolating your dog from his/her cage or encouraging bad behavior.
Teach your Children to
Never to play with dogs, take their toys, food, or treat, or make them feel like they’re hitting or kicking.
Never pull on a dog’s ears or tail.
Keep your dogs out of the bedrooms of young children and infants unless you are able to provide constant supervision.
Children are asked to not disturb the dog while it is asleep or eating.
Children sometimes drag their dog around, especially when they have smaller dogs. Don’t allow this to happen. Don’t let your children dress up your dog. Some dogs won’t appreciate it.
4. Warning Signs by a Dog
- If you notice signs that your dog may be less comfortable around your child, it is possible to alert the authorities.
- Stiffness included
- Looking away or avoiding contact
- Lifted paws, lip-licking and yawning
Get expert advice from behaviorists or trainers before things get out of control. It’s okay to admit that our dogs might not be 100% in love with children all the time. Then we can set them up for success by using the techniques we’ve discussed such as active adult supervision, judicious use gates and crates.
These You’re a Bad Owner if you Say these 7 Things
Sometimes owners have tunnel vision when it comes to dogs. They see the world only through their dog’s eyes or their own experience with dog training. In this situation, owners often make sentences that in an ideal world would never be said. These words are signs of a bigger issue or a situation. They can include not understanding the dog’s behavior, social cues or body language.
1) My Dog is Friendly, It’s Okay
The owner of a dog that is charging up to another dog, or is approaching someone with their dog often uses this phrase. This is a common tactic to calm fears about their dog’s intentions. It is possible that the owner is trying to calm fears about their dog’s approach to others by using this phrase. It is possible your dog may act in dangerous or reckless ways if you say this phrase.
2) Oh, My Dog Would Never Bite
Famous last words — words every UPS delivery man hates to hear, because they are full of naivety and confidence. Your dog may be the world’s most affectionate, playful, and goofy dog. But, to paraphrase a favorite song: “Never say Never”. (It’s not hard to see the irony of saying that in light of the title. Actually, if your dog says no to something, it is an indication of confusion or worse denial about what your dog thinks about the world. And how this might change as your dog gets older, sicker, or through other life experiences. However, assuming that your dog will never bite is a dangerous assumption. It can lead to you being lazy about monitoring interactions that could result in serious consequences.
3) It’s not My Dog’s Fault
Maybe it isn’t, but who knows? It is possible for a number of dogs to be blamed for their actions in response to an instigated attack by another dog. The loudest, largest, most vocal, or the one from a certain breed end up winning. But, there are many dog owners who believe that it wasn’t their fault and are totally wrong. It is not only incorrect, but they are just as guilty as the dog who actually started the altercation.
4) Let them Work it Out themselves
This is one thing you should never do or hear in a situation with dogs, particularly at a dog park. The belief that dogs will rely on their instinctual pack savvy to socialize with other dogs and that humans are not required to do so is overly ingrained. Dog behaviorists and expert trainers know that a bunch of dogs in a park doesn’t constitute a pack. Furthermore, it is possible that individual dogs don’t know how to communicate with each other and keep the situation from getting worse. If social tension increases, it can cause psychological trauma or fights by humans standing by.
Some dogs can be aggressive or fearful. You can’t put dogs with different personalities together, and let them “work it all out.” It’s almost like taking the teacher out from a third-grade classroom and leaving the children to figure it out. It will likely get chaotic and someone will be hurt.
5) There Wasn’t a Warning
There’s always a warning. It just wasn’t there.
“Communication can be a key ingredient in any relationship. But, as human interactions show, even when two species speak the same language, this isn’t always an easy task,” writes Suzanne Clothie, “Bones Will Rain From The Sky”: Deepening Our Relationships to Dogs. She said, “The Dog’s language is almost like our human language.” It is full with nuances and subtleties. When viewed within a context, they provide total communication. Our dogs can communicate volumes without speaking a word. But communicating with great clarity requires awareness and understanding of our bodies as well as the subtle meanings of gestures.
Dogs can communicate everything they feel and think through their body language. Sometimes dogs bark at us, sometimes threatening to lash out.
6) He just Wants to Play
This may be true if your dog is playing bowing to another pet dog, or trying to lure another dog into a game with fake-bolting or toy chase. This could get more complicated. Many dog owners use this phrase when their dogs become too excited, aggressive or bullies. Of course, this is often a statement made by owners who don’t understand enough about the body language and social cues of dogs to know when their dog gets frustrated or if their dog isn’t being playful.
7) He Knows Better than that
Does he know what he is doing? Does your dog only know how to behave in one situation? Dogs sometimes have difficulty translating what they’ve learned from your living area to an environment like a pet park or pet shop. Dogs who are taught to sit politely at the front door of their owners before leaving will likely not do the same with dogs that have been taught to do the same at other doors. It also applies to a different side of your body. If you’ve trained your dog to sit at your left side, but never taught it to your right side, then teaching your dog how to sit at your right side may take a bit longer.
How Many Americans Get Bitten by Dogs in the United States of America?
The United States is home to nearly 70 million dogs. However, many dog bite victims don’t seek medical treatment or report the attack. This could mean that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), estimate of 4.5 million dog attacks each year in the U.S. may not be accurate. More than 1 million dog bite victims are treated at emergency rooms in the U.S. each year.
- Dogs have rounded, round teeth. Their jaws exert pressure on the tissues below the skin.
- There is an increased risk of getting bit by a dog if there are many dogs in the home.
- The majority of dogs that are bitten on men are cats, while women are more likely than men to be bitten.
- Children between the ages five and nine are more likely to get bitten by dogs than any other age group. Children are also more susceptible to require medical attention.
What To Do Legally After a Dog Bite? – Rights of a Citizen
STEP 1 – Take photos of the wounds.
Take a picture of the incident, and consult a doctor for treatment.
Request the names and addresses to be provided by witnesses, the dog owner and anyone who was in charge of the dog when it bit.
STEP 2 – It is vital to identify the dog owners and the animal responsible for biting you. This can lead to painful treatment.
STEP 3 – You should always file your own animal control report to the agency in your locality. It could be the animal control office of the county or city, the humane societies, or the police department. Don’t rely on the hospital for a report. Yes, they will make reports. However, most of their reports are only for statistics and to help us keep our dogs safe.
It is possible to prevent infection from dog bites by washing the wound immediately. To keep it clean, they can place the wound under running water.
If you have deeper wounds, it is best to see a doctor who will cleanse the area with a saline solution. Then, apply a dressing.