Monday, November 25, 2013

What To Do For Dog Bites


Getting bitten or seeing your child get bitten by a dog is a frightening experience. Dogs can sometimes get territorial, instinctive or too playful and bite without realizing it, even if they are normally docile animals. If you are bitten or see someone bitten by a dog, you must jump into action to take care of the problem right away. Otherwise, infection could spread, making the bite much worse.

Distance and Assess

In the event of a dog bite, put distance between yourself and the dog immediately. Don't run, as it could spur the dog to chase, but walk quickly away so that there isn't a chance that you could be bitten again. If the dog does not belong to you, notify the owner as soon as possible. If the dog is yours, it might be a good idea to reprimand the dog and crate him in order to put some distance between you and let him know that biting is not okay. Assess the bite and determine if it broke the skin, whether it is bleeding and the severity of the bite.

Clean and Disinfect

Take care of the wound. If the bite did not break the skin and the site is simply red and swollen, apply some ice to it. If it did break the skin, go inside immediately and clean the wound with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. If it is bleeding, you can apply a small square of gauze and a bandage to the area and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Change the dressing daily and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to stop any infection. If the bite is painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen.

See a Doctor

If you don't know the owner of the dog and don't know its history or if it has had a rabies shot, visit a doctor. You should also visit a doctor if the wound is deep or keeps bleeding. Your doctor may want to discuss giving you a shot to protect you from rabies and assess the wound for signs of infection or the need for stitches.

Tags: break skin, distance between, visit doctor