According to statistics gathered by the CDC in 2014, approximately, 4.7 million dog bites occur annually in the United States. A majority of these 4.7 million bites are extremely minor and require little to no medical attention. Of these 4.7 million, some 800,000 seek medical attention by visiting the emergency room or their family physician. Today we will discuss steps you should take if you are bitten by a dog.
Prevention is worth a pound of cure
The best way to treat a dog bite, is to avoid it entirely. Learn how to behave around strange dogs. If you own a dog, make sure it is trained how to behave around other people. Learn steps to take if you are confronted by an aggressive or angry dog.
For minor dog bites
Most minor dog bites can be treated with a simple home first-aid kit. However, if you have any questions or concerns, you should contact a healthcare professional. As a first step in treatment, always clean the wound by running under warm water. Don’t be afraid of bleeding, this is your body’s way of preventing bacteria from entering the wound. Apply a disinfectant and cover with a bandage.
For more severe bites
If bleeding is profuse the bite is beyond your ability to treat with a home first-aid kit. You may need sutures or stiches to close the wound. Further, you should seek medical attention if the wound becomes more painful during healing, or if it swells, or leaks fluid or pus. Likewise, if you develop a temperature after receiving a dog bite, this may be a sign of infection. A physician will likely prescribe you antibiotics if they believe there is a risk of infection following a dog bite.