What should I do after a dog bites me?

| Mar 26, 2021 | Animal Bites

Even the most seemingly tame dog can bite. In the event that a dog bites you, whether it is a stray mutt or your own beloved family pet, it is imperative that you take action right away. Infection is a major concern with dog bites, as dog saliva is not sterile.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are specific steps you should take right after a dog bite. Once you do what you can at home, you should see a medical professional the same day if possible.

Actions to take immediately

The first step is to wash the wound thoroughly. You will want to use mild soap with no added scents, and keep warm tap water running over the bite for between 5 to 10 minutes. After, you will want to stanch any bleeding with a sterile cloth. If you possess any over-the-counter antibiotic creams, this is a good time to use them. After, cover the wound with a sterile bandage. Once you have done this, it is time to make an appointment to see your doctor.

What the doctor needs to know

The doctor is going to ask you several questions about the dog that bit you. The more that you know about the dog, the more it will help the doctor appropriately treat the bite. It is likely that the doctor will unwrap and clean your wound when you are at the office. It is possible that the doctor may prescribe you certain antibiotics if the doctor is particularly concerned about infection.

Finally, if you have not had a tetanus inoculation within the last 10 years, the doctor may give you one. If the wound is deep enough, you may require stitches.

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