Treating dog bites

Dogs are formidable predators as the capability of the teeth and the jaws to deliver up to 450 pound pressure can create serious injuries. When a dog bites, the sharp teeth will sink in the flesh, the strong jaws will lock creating either deep puncture wounds or serious lacerations. One reason why people are intimidated by dogs is because a serious dog bites can maim the victim for life. A serious dog bite can even kill a person. When a dog sinks its teeth on the flesh of the victim, bacteria will be injected on the deep puncture wounds causing infections and viral diseases. One of the life threatening consequences of dog bite is rabies.

Because of humans’ constant interaction with dogs, dog bites cannot be totally prevented. Children and dogs form a close bond but children are the ones commonly bitten by their own dogs. What do you do to treat a dog bite?

First aid must be given to dog bite victims to prevent infection but it would be necessary to move the victim away from the dog. Lacerations and deep puncture wounds are the two basic types of wounds that can result from dog bites. Infection commonly occurs in deep puncture wounds as the teeth inject bacteria to the wound. Dog bites can result to serious skin lacerations.

Puncture wounds that are not heavy bleeders must be allowed to bleed so that the bacteria will be cleansed from the wound. Heavy bleeding is common in dog bites that have created skin lacerations. By applying direct pressure on the wound, bleeding can be stopped. To prevent infection, wounds resulting from dog bites must be thoroughly cleaned.

Stitching of the lacerations would have to be done in medical facilities but just the same, the wound has to be cleaned properly as the several hours that the patient has to wait for medical treatment would give the bacteria the chance to become established in the wound. Use antibacterial soap on the bite wound for about five minutes to minimize the risk of infection. Apply antibiotic ointment and cover with sterile gauze. As expected, a person with dog bite wounds would be in pain. Ice compress applied on the bite wound would reduce the swelling and also lessen the pain.

Rabies would always be a concern with dog bites especially if the immunization status of the dog is unknown. Dog bite victims of stray dogs with an unknown rabies immunization status have to undergo rabies immunization therapy .

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