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What to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog

What to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog

Dog bites are painful. But besides the physical trauma of a wound, there is also the risk of contracting an infection from the dog’s mouth.

Much like the human mouth, a dog’s mouth can be the breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. Most commonly found in dogs’ mouths are staphylococcus, streptococcus and Pasteurella, as well as Capnocytophaga. There are even more dangerous bacteria in dogs that have not been vaccinated. Certain feral dogs could even have rabies. So in the event of a dog bite, whether it is an unknown dog or your own pet, a trip to the emergency room is advised.

Cleveland Clinic says that the first step to treating your wound is pressing it. Try to get it to bleed, ridding it of as much bacteria as possible.

Then, rinse it with clean, warm water. You can use a mild soap, but that may cause irritation.

Use a clean cloth to wrap around the wound so that no other bacteria make their way into it.

If you have any antibacterial cream, add it and apply a clean bandage. Go to the doctor.

Your doctor will most likely give you a tetanus injection and ask you several questions regarding the incident to ensure he prescribes the proper course of treatment and antibiotic. If you have a deep wound, you may require stitches. Certain wounds may also require admission to hospital and intravenous medication.

Luckily, dog bites do not normally leave behind any debris or other dirt in the wound.

Cesar Way says people should not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome for puncture wounds. These medications can slow healing. Puncture wounds do not normally need to be bandaged, but if you choose to, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly first.

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