They say that dogs are a man’s best friend. They will protect you, give you companionship, and be a loyal friend. But their bite can lead to a variety of problems. It can cause minor or severe injury, depending on the degree of bite. According to the 2013 – 2014 APPA National Pet Owners Survey Statistics : Pet Ownership & Annual Expenses, there are approximately 83.3 million dogs in the United States and they are kept by 56.7 million households.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that there are over 4.7 million dog-bite incidents yearly. From that number, 800,000 will require medical attention and 386,000 will need emergency medical treatment. When not treated right away, dog bites can cause significant damage to underlying tissues in the skin, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, or nerves. Infections include tetanus and rabies.
There are several reasons why a dog will bite. They are either scared or threatened, protecting themselves, their puppies, or their owners. So make sure to keep these in mind when near a dog. Be alert to prevent a potential bite situation. But nevertheless, if what you are afraid of happens, here are some simple first aid remedies you can do for treating dog bites:
Clean the wound immediately. Run it under warm water for a few minutes to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Use antibacterial soap in combination with the water.
If the bite is not bleeding, encourage it by squeezing the wound. This will help prevent bacteria from entering the wound.
Provide pain relief by taking over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
If there is a risk of infection, it is recommended that you seek medical advice. According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, once the bite gets infected, it can lead to blood poisoning (sepsis), infection of the endocarditis and meningitis.
Big bites may require stitches so it is best to see a doctor
Get updated on your tetanus shot. Doctors recommend a booster after a dog bite if your last immunization was more than five years ago.
Be alert for any signs of infection. If you think that the bite is getting infected, see the doctor right away. Here are the symptoms of an infected dog bite:
Redness or warmth around the bite
Dogs can be adorable to have as pets. However, they can also be deadly. Follow these treatment methods for dog bites.