Friday, April 12

How to prevent or treat Dog Bite

Every year, millions of people are bitten by dogs. If this were to happen to you, what would you do?

Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year. What should you do if it happens to you?

The United States sees more than 4.5 million dog bites every year. Most of these incidents are not caused by an unfamiliar dog attacking someone in a park or other outdoor location, despite your assumption. The majority of dog bites are caused by a pet dog in a home. This article provides advice on how to avoid these distressing and potentially serious injuries, as well as the steps to take if you are attacked by a dog.

What is the cause of dog bites?

When people wrestle or play tug-of-war with their dog, there are dog bites that happen by accident. Dogs bite people most often when they feel stressed, threatened, scared, or startled, as per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Dog bites are more common in children, and they are more prone to serious injuries than adults.

People don't always pay attention to the behavioral signals that a dog is uncomfortable, says Dr. Christopher Baugh, associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School. Some dogs are extremely territorial and will bark, growl, snap, and lunge if someone enters their space, whether it's an apartment, yard, or crate. Dogs may display resource guarding, which can result in anxious and aggressive behavior around food, toys, or beds. 

According to the doctor, these situations can be high-risk, and children are particularly prone to not being aware of that risk.

What steps can you take to prevent dog bites?

According to the AVMA, dogs, even those that are sweet and cuddly, can bite if provoked. Young children playing with a dog should be supervised by an adult. Encourage children to refrain from disturbing a dog while it's eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. 

In a study of 321 facial dog bites treated at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital over a 20-year period, 88% of the bites were from known dogs. The majority were adults who had interacted with the dog through play, feeding, and facial contact. But according to Dr. Baugh, the hand—typically the dominant hand—is most likely the most often bitten area with an adult dog.

The following are some more recommendations from the CDC to avoid dog bites:

  • It is always polite to ask permission before petting a dog, even if it seems friendly.
  • Before you pet the dog, be sure it has seen and smelled you.
  • Petting a dog who appears to be hiding, afraid, ill, or furious is not advised.

What happens if a strange dog comes up for you? Keep your cool and avoid making eye contact with the dog. Say "no" or "go home" in a deep, forceful voice while facing the dog with your side of the body facing it. Either move slowly away or wait for the dog to retreat.

In the event that a dog bites you, what should you do?
After giving the wound a quick wash with warm water and mild soap, wrap it in a fresh bandage or a piece of cloth. Using an antibiotic cream or ointment is advised by several internet sources. But according to the American Academy of Dermatology, these medications should only be used by those who have obvious signs of an infection, such as redness, pus, discomfort, swelling, or warmth.

Visit the emergency department if there is significant blood, a bite wound to the face, or a probable shattered bone. This is also a smart move in the unlikely event that you require medication to prevent rabies (rabies post-exposure prophylaxis) after being bitten by an unfamiliar or stray dog.

It's common for people to feel shocked after being bitten and focus solely on their wound, according to Dr. Baugh. The owner of the dog might stop by to see how you're doing and then go. However, he advises getting the person's contact details and confirming that the dog has received a rabies vaccination.

Remember that:

  • If the injury doesn't need to be treated right away, an urgent care facility is a better choice because emergency rooms are frequently packed and have lengthy wait times.
  • Stitches are needed for certain wounds, preferably within 12 to 24 hours.
  • In order to avoid infections, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics, particularly if you have diabetes or other health issues that compromise your immune system.
  • If it has been ten years since you got a tetanus booster, you might also require one. You will receive a tetanus booster just in case, if your vaccination history isn't available or you can't recall.

What happens when a dog bite is less serious?

Imagine that you have received a less serious bite from a relative who is known to have a current rabies vaccine. Bites that don't require stitches can be cleaned with mild soap and running water, then evaluated by your regular health care provider. They may advise you to monitor the wound for signs of infection.

Doctors are making an effort to be more thoughtful about prescribing antibiotics and limiting their use in low-risk situations, as overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance and exposure to potential side effects without any benefit. Baugh.

Image by Photo by Pixabay


  1. And always keep you dog on a leash when outside. Because it might be true that most dog bites are within the family of the dog, but there are also dogs who bite outsiders on streets and in nature. Not only people, also other animals.

  2. I had to have a tetanus shot after a cat had bitten me!

  3. Never been atacked by a dog, but thanks for all information.
    Grreetings, dear Melody :)


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