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How to treat a Dog Bite. Stray or street dog bites. Risk of RabiesBY: Jessica | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-08-09
Every year millions of people get bitten by dogs, some people are accidentally by domestic dogs and others by stray or street dogs. Most of the time the cause of a dog bite is because the dog might have felt threatened, or mistook you for an intruder and other times the dog may be mentally diseased.
WHEN CAN A DOG BITE BE TAKEN LIGHTLY?
In all cases apply common sense, there is no thumb rule. But, if you have got bitten by a DOMESTIC DOG who has been properly vaccinated, and wounds are quite minor then it is usually ok not to worry. Always ask the owner to show you a proper documentation of the recent vaccination records, do not just take their word. Ask for a photocopy of the record, take name and address of the owner and possibly click some pictures of the scene, your wounds and dog if possible. These days most our mobile phones are equipped with camera's, so its the right time to use them. A proper proof of the incident is important because if a complication arises then you should be able to explain doctor the whole incident. In some cases a lawsuit may occur and these pictures and documents can make your case strong. If you think you need to see a doctor even if your wounds are minor, then follow your heart. If your wounds do not appear to be healing as expected or signs of infection appear then seek immediate medical attention. There is no harm in calling a physician over the phone anyway to get his advice if you should go to his clinic or not. Do not hesitate to consult an attorney if the dog owner behaves in an irresponsible manner. Report to animal to the control officials as well.
WHEN SHOULD A DOG BITE BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY?
If you were bitten by a STRAY DOG (or street dog or a non-domestic dog) you should immediately visit your doctor for treatment even if the injuries are very minor. MAJOR INJURIES means that you need to see a doctor regardless the dog is domestic or stray. If the owner of dog does not have vaccination proof, then it is better to assume that the dog has not been vaccinated.
THINGS TO DO AFTER A DOG BITE:
1. Wash your wound gently with clean water (slightly warm water) and soap to remove any saliva that might still be sticking there. Make sure that all the soap is washed away. If you do not want to use soap, then atleast use the regular clean water. You can also clean it by rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
2. Control your bleeding by covering it with a cloth pad and put a very light pressure directly on the wound to stop bleeding. It is usually OK to put some ice on the pad, not directly on skin. Hold the wound above your heart if the bite is on your hand, this helps to stop bleeding faster.
3. Apply dressing after bleeding stops: You can then apply antibiotic ointment and cover the wound. Bigger wounds may eventually need stitches. Seek medical care if bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or the wound is gaping.
4. Take a pain reducer: Taking a pain reducer helps to overcome the shock and pain.
5. Keep applying antibiotic ointment twice a day and get a tetanus shot if you haven't been given the last one in the previous 3-4 years.
6. Watch out for signs of swelling, fever, redness, increasing warmth and pus.
7. Dog bite from some bigger dogs may not do too much external/skin damage, but most of the damage might be internal.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU GET BITTEN BY A STRAY DOG ( OR STREET DOG)
1. Any unidentified dog bite carries the risk of rabies. Rabies is deadly for both dogs and humans. In most developing countries like India and China, there is a significantly high risk of stray dogs carrying rabies infection. If the patient is not treated for rabies on time then the patient will die. The decision as to whether you need rabies shots must be left to your doctor.
2. Apart from rabies, there are countless other diseases carried by stray dogs which may need medical attention.
WHAT IS RABIES:
Rabies is an acute encephalitis (infection of the brain) caused by a virus believed to be infectious for most mammals. Transmission of the virus is usually through a bite. The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves. Once the virus is established in the brain the disease is seldom reversible and usually fatal. Early-stage symptoms of rabies are malaise, headache and fever, later progressing to more serious ones, including acute pain, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, depression and inability to swallow water. (ref: wikipedia)
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
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