Dogs are friendly animals and rarely bite unless provoked. However, a warm hang from your kindergartner might turn into a dog bite if the dog feels provoked. Other times it’s just the dog’s temperament. When this happens, what do you do amidst the panic and feelings of guilt? Here is a quick guide to remedy the situation and seek medical help.
Perform First Aid
The first thing you want to do is to control the bleeding. Apply pressure on the bitten area by gently pressing using a towel. If the bleeding is too much, raise the bitten area. Next, clean the wound with warm water and soap. Pat it dry and apply an antibiotic before wrapping it with a bandage.
If you know the dog’s owner, inquire about the Rover’s shots. You must also consult your pediatrician to confirm your kid’s tetanus vaccination if you are unsure of his/her status.
The other situations that will warrant a doctor’s help include:
- If the dog bit broke through the skin
- If you have applied direct pressure for 10- 15 minutes and the bleeding doesn’t stop
- If the bite is deep and has injured the tendons, joints, or bones.
- If your kid got a bite on the face area, feet, or hands.
- If you don’t know the owner of the dog that bit your kid
Severe dog bite wounds need a medical examination. Here, the medical practitioner will evaluate the wound and offer a comprehensive treatment. If the wound is deep, stitches are the most viable option. However, doctors avoid using stitches on kids because it can cause infection if the bite is on the feet or hands or lasted over 12 hours. In such scenarios, the doctors treat the wound and leave it to dry on its own.
If the bite injured the tendons, bones, or joints, your kid would go through an x-ray. Depending on the severity of the bite, your kid may undergo an operation to treat the wound. You can also explore the option of plastic surgery for scar revision with unrepaired wounds.
Doctors administer an oral antibiotic to kids with a weak immune system for five days. If your kid hasn’t received the tetanus vaccine for the past five years or missed the last three vaccinations, they will get the tetanus vaccination.
Under some circumstances, a dog bite may cause swelling and redness. Here, your kid will undergo testing to examine the severity of the infection. If the wound is severe, the doctor will admit him for further treatment.
If you know the dog that bit your kid, there’s no need for rabies treatment. However, a doctor must check the bite to determine the state of the wound. In an unknown dog, it is essential to report the animal control center’s incident in your locality. They’ll take custody of the dog, access its rabies vaccination status, and help prevent such cases in the future. Also, you’ll need to seek medical help.
Give the Dog Away?
A dog owner might think of giving the dog away after a dog bite. It is essential to take the precautions first and give your dog a second chance. Secondly, understand the circumstances under which the bite occurred. Try minimizing the number of people around the dog. Lastly, stay vigilant for any signs of aggression that might trigger the dog to bite. If you’ve done all there is, there are still cases of a dog bite; it’s time you make the tough choice.
Tips to Stay Safe
Dogs are friendly animals. However, they can bite. Therefore, take caution by following these tips.
- Educate your kids to avoid getting close to strange dogs.
- Train your kids to request a dog’s owner before petting.
- Do not leave your kids with a dog without your supervision.
- Teach your kids always to be careful with pets.
- Limit playing with dogs while eating or sleeping.