Of course, you have heard that human bites are far “dirtier” than dog bites, and can be far more likely to cause infection. This is true, but that doesn’t mean that dog bites aren’t problematic.
Small Dog, Big Bite
Now, you are saying, “But Pooky is just a toy poodle! I told the person he bit that he’d had his shots, so what’s the big deal?”
The big deal is the bacteria. A surface wound will heal quickly, and might not even need much more than a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding. But under the surface, all those bacteria that live in Pooky’s mouth are going to grow and flourish. And because the wound is so small, it is going to heal over quickly and trap all those bacteria in under the wound. Then, what happens is the surface of the skin starts to turn red, and feel hot. This is because an infection is happening below the surface. Eventually, it will probably turn into a nasty abscess.
What Can You Do?
Dog bites, if from small dogs, should be treated by applying a clean washcloth or towel to the wound, and applying pressure to stop the bleeding. Dog bites can bleed quite a bit, especially if the wound has occurred in the facial area.
If a human has been bitten, a trip to the emergency room is warranted. Even a small bite could require stitches. And of course, if you have been bitten by a large dog, you may require more extensive treatment.
If another dog has been bitten, then you need to take the dog that has been bitten to a veterinarian so that the wound can be evaluated. There could be “dead space” under the bite. This is caused when the skin is pulled away, and an air pocket develops between the overlying skin and the muscle tissue beneath. If the space is significant, then bacteria could grow and result in an abscess. The vet can clean out the wound, stitch it if necessary, and insert a stent to release any fluids under the wound if necessary. Antibiotics will also usually be prescribed.
If the dog has just nipped, then the wound is probably going to be superficial. In cases like that, humans and other dogs alike can be treated by simply applying a topical antibiotic like Polysporin to prevent bacteria from growing in and around the wound.
Before applying the topical antibiotic, clean the wound with a topical antiseptic like hydrogen peroxide. Then, make sure to be alert to any signs of infection, like swelling, redness or discharge. If it looks as though the wound is infected, then in the case of a person, see a doctor, and in the case of another dog, consult a veterinarian.
If you are prescribed antibiotics for a dog bite, or if your dog is prescribed antibiotics for a bite cause by another dog, the course of care is the same. You have to take all the antibiotics as prescribed – if you do not, the infection might not go away completely. Even if you start to feel better, and the infection seems to be going away, you have to finish the full course of antibiotics. If you follow your doctor’s orders, and make sure that your dog follows his veterinarian’s orders, then you can expect that the bite will heal without complications.
You can buy Vetericyn Plus All Animal Wound and Skin Care from Amazon, and it is eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping. Obviously, for serious bites and wounds, you will want to see a doctor, or if it is your dog that has incurred the injury, a trip to the vet will be warranted. But minor injuries can be dealt with at home.
Are All Dog Bites Serious?
No, they’re not. Sometimes, you can treat a dog bite at home with a topical antibiotic. And I have to encourage pet owners not to go off the deep end if a bite occurs that could be easily managed at home. Dogs will be dogs, after all. So if someone else’s dog bites you, and the damage isn’t really all that bad, I’d like for you to think before you go off the deep end, call the cops, or do something else that you might regret later. If the bite isn’t serious, just find a Band-Aid and some antibiotic ointment. After all, you would want someone else to give your dog a second chance, wouldn’t you?
We’re all entirely too litigious these days. And sometimes, stuff happens. Patch it up, shake hands and move on.