Being predators, dogs uses their strong teeth that can deliver about 450 lbs per square inch pressure when they attack. When the strong jaws of the dog have locked on its victim, the needle sharp teeth can literally tear the flesh away. Depending on the body part bitten, the dog bite can cause lifelong injuries that will limit the victim’s mobility. A serious dog bite can even kill a person. When a dog sinks its teeth on the flesh of the victim, bacteria will be injected on the deep puncture wounds causing infections and viral diseases. A potential life threatening outcome of dog bites is rabies.

Because of humans’ constant interaction with dogs, dog bites cannot be totally prevented. Dog bites that are most common in children are often caused by the family’s own dog. So, how do you treat a dog bite?

Dog bite victims have to have first aid to prevent infection but it would be necessary to remove the victim away from the dog first. Dog bites can create two types of wounds – deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Infection commonly occurs in deep puncture wounds as the teeth inject bacteria to the wound. Lacerations occur when the dog’s teeth tear away the skin.

Puncture wounds that are not heavy bleeders must be allowed to bleed so that the bacteria will be cleansed from the wound. Lacerations commonly bleed profusely. Bleeding has to be stemmed by applying direct pressure on the wound. Thorough cleaning is necessary for both types of wounds to prevent infection.

Serious skin lacerations resulting from dog bites cannot be treated at home as the wound normally needs to be sutured however, thorough cleaning of the dog bite would still be necessary so as not to give the bacteria a chance to cause infection. Use antibacterial soap on the bite wound for about five minutes to minimize the risk of infection. Before covering the bite wound with sterile gauze, apply a generous amount of antibiotic ointment. A dog bite victim will be in pain. The pain that is mostly caused by the swelling will be minimized with an application of ice compress on the bite wound.

Rabies is a potential health risk that will devastate dog bite victims particularly if it is impossible to verify whether the dog has had rabies vaccination. Dog bite victims of stray dogs with an unknown rabies immunization status have to undergo rabies immunization therapy .

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