A not-so-friendly dog took a bite out of you recently, and you have injuries to access with help from your doctor. While building your legal case, you want to understand how to make a full recovery free of complications.
MedicineNet explores strategies for treating dog bites. Learn what risks you face and how to avoid them.
If a dog bite broke the skin, you must consider whether the damage extends to structures underneath your skin. Damage that penetrates the surface of the skin could impair functionality. For instance, if your doctor notices a laceration at the bite site, you may have a lacerated tendon that threatens your range of motion, such as in your finger.
Because dogs inoculate bacteria in their tissues, dog bite victims have a high risk of infection. Bacterial commonly involved in dog-bite infections include Pasteurella, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus.
If possible, find out whether the dog that bit you has up-to-date rabies immunizations. If it does not, talk with your doctor about whether it makes sense to immunize you against the rabies virus. To make a well-informed decision, your medical team may want to observe the dog that bit you, if possible. Your doctor may also ask you about the state of the dog that bit you, such as whether the animal bit you unprovoked.
Depending on the severity of the bite, your doctor may recommend a medical procedure as part of your treatment plan. Dog-bite victims may need surgery if they lost a considerable amount of skin or suffered severe skin damage.
You have a lot of risks to bear in mind after a dog bite. Knowing those risks may help you recover and stay calm.