What to Do Following a Dog Bite Injury
Contrary to popular belief, dog bites are not much more prevalent in more aggressive breeds than those with a reputation for more mild-mannered behavior. Any dog may attack when provoked or agitated, so it is important to know what to do if you or someone around you has been bitten by a dog. Dog bites can lead to some very serious wounds, and they are most likely to occur in young children because kids may not know how to properly behave around animals. In this article, you can see the essential tips for caring for a dog bite in a victim of any age.
As with any injury, it is best to try and remain calm while administering first aid and calling for help. With a dog bite, you will want to try and contain the dog in a separate room or outdoor area. If the victim is a child, moving out of sight and sound of the dog is a good idea to help keep the child calm.
Seek Emergency Medical Care
With most dog bites, you will want to head to the ER, because wounds should be thoroughly cleaned and evaluated to limit the risk of infection. Dog bites can also cause substantial damage to the affected area, including nerve and tendon damage and broken bones. Bites to the hands or feet may be particularly damaging, because of the intricate musculoskeletal structure of these body parts.
Assess the Risk for Infection
In most cases, dog bites will involve a dog owned by friends, relatives, or neighbors, so it is likely that you will know the dog’s vaccination history. If the dog has not been properly vaccinated or you are unsure of the animal’s veterinary care, a tetanus shot might need to be administered. In rare cases, a rabies shot will be necessary following a dog bite, though most cases of rabies seen in the U.S. are transmitted by wild animals rather than domesticated pets.
When you are in need of emergency care in Thousand Oaks, Los Robles Hospital can provide the care you need close to home. To stay connected with us, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (877) 888-5746, or text ‘ER’ to 23000 for current wait times.