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How to Take Care of Dog Bites

06. July 2017

Dog bites are most likely minor bites that can be treated at home. These are the following steps to do so:

  • Immediately clean the wound. You should run it under warm water for a couple of minutes to guarantee that it is totally cleaned.
  • Let your wound bleed. If the wound is not bleeding, you may gently squeeze the wound to let the blood out of it. This will help prevent bacteria from entering the wound.
  • Give pain relievers to the patient. Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol will do to lessen inflammation and pain.
  • The NHS recommends the patient to seek medical advice for a dog bite unless it is a minor one.

How do you know when a dog bite is already infected?

            If you feel a dog bite is infected, immediately seek medical help since occasionally, an animal bite that is infected could possibly lead to sepsis or blood poisoning, endocarditis or an infection of the inner lining of the heart or even meningitis, which is an infection of the outer layers of the brain. These are the following signs of an infected dog bite:

  • Swelling and redness around the bite.
  • The wound becomes more painful.
  • Pus or fluid is leaking from the bite.
  • Shivering and having a fever of 38°C or above.
  • Swollen lymph glands.

When do you seek medical help?

If there are compatible symptoms (refer above) to your dog bite, you should immediately get help. Also, seek medical help if the bite is on the feet, hands, a joint, ligament or tendon, scalp or the face, nose or ears or the genitals. Moreover, if there’s a pre-existing condition such as HIV, diabetes, or liver disease- that could make a person more prone to infection. Also, if the person is given medical treatments such as chemotherapy, which weakens the immune system, it is essential to get medical advice.

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