Dog Bite Wounds: Treatment and More

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Each year in the United States, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. More than 800,000 seek checkup treatment for their injuries. Dogs may bite for respective reasons. They may be afraid, disgusted, or in trouble. They may besides bite out of aggression. Regardless of the reason, it ‘s important to know how to handle a cad sting. Without proper treatment, there ‘s a high risk of dangerous illness or injury from a bite .

This article explains the risks related to dog bites. It outlines basic first base help for bite wounds and when to contact your doctor for treatment .

Beware of dog sign on wooden fence
Gwendolyn Plath / Getty Images

First Aid Steps

First, be sure the frump that made the attack is secured and that the person who has been bitten is moved away from the animal. Once the person is safe, continue foremost help .

If you ca n’t secure the frump ( or if it continues to attack ), contact animal dominance or the police right field aside .

Treating a pawl bite should always start with the safety of all involved, including the victim, the rescuer, and, if potential, the dog. Be careful about starting any treatment until there is a reasonable arithmetic mean that the frank wo n’t attack again .

here are tips on how to treat a dog sting .

  • Stay safe: If you are a rescuer, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available.
  • Stop the bleeding: Controlling bleeding can often be done as you’re making the area safe, especially if the patient can help hold pressure. Control any bleeding by following the appropriate steps. Use a clean towel to apply pressure to the bite. Avoid using a tourniquet unless there’s severe bleeding that cannot be controlled any other way.
  • Clean the wound: Once the bleeding is controlled, clean the wound with soap and warm water. Do not be afraid to clean inside the wound. Be sure to rinse all the soap away, or it’ll cause irritation later.
  • Cover the wound: Use a clean, dry dressing. You can put antibiotic ointment on the wound before covering it, but it’s not necessary.

If the patient has multiple bite wounds or bites on the confront or hands, seek hand brake medical care .


The first step in caring for person who ‘s been bitten by a frump is to make sure the surrounding area is safe and the frump has been restrained if possible. Focus on stopping the shed blood and cleaning the wound thoroughly with soap and water.

When to See a doctor

If the chase has broken your skin, see your sophisticate within 24 hours then you can receive appropriate worry .

Consider going to the hand brake board immediately if the sting includes the follow :

  • Redness and swelling
  • Pus coming from the wound
  • Deep or large wound
  • Bone or muscle can be seen
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop after a few minutes

Wounds on the face or hands should be checked arsenic soon as possible by a repair because of the likelihood of scarring and passing of affair .

Filing a Police Report

Some areas have regulations that require you to report a dog bite to local patrol or authorities so the pawl can be monitored. In these cases, the doctor may file a reputation about the injury.


If you do see a doctor, they will examine your wound to see if the bite was deep adequate to require stitches. The injury will besides be evaluated to see if there ‘s wrong to muscles, nerves, tendons, or even cram .

Your repair may determine that you need emergency care if the edges of the wind ca n’t touch or if there are any avulsions, which is when tissue has been completely tear away.


Dog bites that break the peel should always be checked by a doctor of the church. If the injury doesn ’ thyroxine seem good, you can normally wait a day to be examined, but get care immediately if the wind is austere or if it ’ south on the confront or hands.


once the bleeding has been stopped and the pungency is cleaned and covered, the wind needs to be monitored for infection. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, particularly if there are abstruse puncture wounds. You may besides need to get a tetanus snapshot if you have n’t had one within five years .

Depending on the size of the bite and where it ‘s located on your body, surgery may be necessary to repair brawn, ligaments, or tissue .

Risk of Rabies

There is a little gamble that a chase might carry rabies. It ‘s very rare, but if the cad can not be identified or a positron emission tomography owner can not show proof of rabies inoculation, the patient must seek medical attention. Rabies is typically fateful to humans if not treated. Bandages should be changed several times a day until the bite heals. It is besides crucial to watch for signs of infection, including :

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever, or warmth around the wound
  • Weeping pus


Treating a frank sting involves administering basic first help, including controlling the shed blood, clean and covering the wound, and watching for signs of an contagion. You should see a doctor of the church within 24 hours if the skin is broken. extra treatments may include antibiotics, stitches, or even surgery. Your doctor may besides recommend a tetanus booster shot or, in rare instances, a rabies blast.

A Word From Verywell

Dog bites are chilling injuries, but in many cases, they can be treated at family initially. The samara is to follow basic inaugural care procedures and then contact your doctor to avoid complications .

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you clean a dog bite wound?

    Dog bites should be cleaned thoroughly. Running water over the wind for five to 10 minutes can flush soil and bacteria away. After flushing the pungency, wash it with aristocratic soap and water. Be surely to rinse it thoroughly .

  • What should I do if dog bites me?

    beginning, apply pressure to stop the shed blood. then, clean the morsel out, being certain to get inside the wound. Cover the wind, and contact your doctor to set up an appointment to have the bite checked .

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Category : Dog

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