Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for a reason. They are loyal, friendly, and make great pets. However, dogs can also be dangerous, especially if they bite someone. If you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a dog, it is essential to know how to treat the wound properly. This blog post will discuss the best ways to treat dog bite wounds.
Why Does the Dog Bite?
There are many reasons why dogs decide to bit. Some dogs are more aggressive than usual. Some seek attention, or the thing they want may bite the owner or another dog.
Other than biting, there are different ways to show aggressiveness, such as snarling, snapping, and lunging.
Dogs may decide to bite other dogs to show dominance over the different groups of dogs. As a defense mechanism, dogs may also bite anyone if they feel unsafe or in danger. Biting is a way for dogs to confront the threat by showing their power of biting as a means of protection.
Casually walking an off-leash dog can trigger an anxious or fearful dog to other dogs or humans during daily walks in the dog park.
How to Prevent My Dog From Being Bitten by Another Dog?
You can do a few things to help prevent your dog from being bitten by another dog.
- First, make sure your dog is always supervised when around other dogs. If you see another dog coming toward your dog, try to get between the two dogs and use a loud voice to scare the other dog away.
- You can also carry a stick or a spray bottle with you to help keep other dogs away.
- Finally, if your dog does get bitten by another dog, it’s important to clean the wound immediately and take your dog to the vet for further treatment. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your dog safe from harm.
Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Severe injuries are inflicted when a dog bites another dog. The severity depends on the part of the body which is being bitten.
- When the bite of another dog inflicts a dog, the skin and tissue rupture first, bites on necks usually cause blood vessels such as arteries and veins in the neck, minor puncture wounds in the esophagus, a rupture in the trachea, and damage to nerves.
- Another part that other dogs mainly bite is the legs. Canine teeth are very sharp and inflict severe wounds that blee. In addition, muscles are punctured and torn, leading to significant injury and harm to underlying soft tissues.
- Dog’s teeth can break the skin over the chest cavity, penetrate the chest wall, tear muscles, skin, and soft tissues, and cause wounds in the abdominal cavity too.
- Some bitting attacks are milder that cause minor injuries, but some attacks are so vigorous, leading to crushing injuries and broken bones.
- Skin penetration of the teeth causes serious infections. The dog’s mouth always remains full of bacteria and other infectious organisms. If the wound is left untreated, the microorganisms multiply in numbers causing various infections such as cellulitis (tissue infection), septic arthritis (infection of joints), pyothorax (pus in the chest cavity), septic peritonitis (pus in the abdominal cavity), and osteomyelitis (bone infection).
Steps to Take if Another Dog Bites Your Dog
- When your dog gets into a fight with another dog first, you need not get a break into the fight furiously.
- Calm your dog first and try to lessen his barking over the other dog. Respond appropriately.
- Do not punch or shout at the other dog, and do not even gaze at him furiously. This makes him more aggressive and more vulnerable to attack.
- When you and your dog have escaped the fighting, ask the dog owner about the vaccination of his dog.
- Seek medical attention immediately and try to give emergency treatment in case of severe wounds and bleeding.
Why You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet After a Bite?
After a fight with your dog with other dog, it is essential to take it to the vet. The vet diagnoses correctly and can tell about hidden injuries. However, some injuries do not appear, or some infections can develop later if the pup is left untreated or unchecked.
Some injuries remain unchecked due to the covering of fur and neglect. To avoid future problems with your pet’s health, consult with the vet on time. If you see the wounds bleeding, take him to the vet and give your dog immediate emergency treatment.
What Sort of Treatments Will Be Given to My Dog?
The type of treatment depends on how deep the wound is, which area of the body is afflicted, and how immune the dog is. The vet examines the dog’s condition first and gives proper medications then.
- The bite wounds are first cleaned thoroughly for minor injuries to prevent infection from spreading. Then ointment is applied.
- A broad-spectrum antibiotic is given to prevent infection, such as amoxicillin-clavulanate or enrofloxacin. This reduces the risk of infection through bite wounds.
- Damaged tissues are surgically removed for severe dog bite wounds to prevent severe infections. X-ray or ultrasound is also done to see the condition of bones.
- Sometimes, the vet recommends specific sensitivity tests to check the bacterial infection to give better antibiotics on time.
- The vet may give some pain medication such as painkillers to reduce the pain of penetrating a bite wound and increase the healing process.
After seeking medical treatment, your vet suggests you regularly take care of your pet and clean the wounds. You need to clean the wounds very carefully so the dog does not feel pain.
For sutured wounds, try to clean the wounds thoroughly for cleaning the wounds using a mild disinfectant cleaner that your vet prescribes.
Use only prescribed medications, wound cleansers, and painkillers. Do not give any of these on your own without consulting the vet. Doing this can worsen the situation, affecting the dog’s health.
What if the Dog Bites You?
When a dog bites, you first address your injuries. Check the wounds and their severity. The very immediate thing you can do at that time is First Aid.
After getting instant treatment consult the doctor. He will diagnose you with the exact severity of the injury and the type of infection you are likely to get after this biting.
Dog’s Vaccination History
When an unfamiliar animal or a dog bites you, move a distance away, preventing yourself from further dog bite injury. Before going to the vet, ask the dog’s owner about his vaccine. Ask has the dog has been taken shots against Rabies or not.
Ask the owner about the vet if he has vaccinated his dog against Rabies. Take his contact information and possibly any ID. Then consult the vet as soon as possible.
If the owner is not present at that time, ask the witness present there at the time of dog biting. He might know about the owner of the dog.
You are aware of the shots against Rabies inoculated to your dog if your dog has bitten you. However, even your dog can bite you no matters how gentle he is; he might be anxious about something and bite you.
First Aid for the Dog Bites
- If you are bitten, but your skin is intact, wash it gently with warm water and antibacterial soap. Then wipe it thoroughly and dry it.
- If your skin is punctured, but the bite wound is not bleeding, gently wash with warm water and apply antibacterial soap. Wash it thoroughly. Press the bite wound to let it bleed. This will help the germs to flush out of the wound through bleeding.
- When you get the bite wound already bleeding, wash it properly. Apply antibacterial soap and clean it. Gently press the skin at the wounded area to reduce the bleeding. Apply topical antibiotic and cover with a bandage.
- After cleaning the skin wounds, if you still feel pain for a more extended period and few symptoms at the bite wounds appear, such as redness, tenderness to touch, itching, swelling, and warmth, then you should consult your doctor to avoid any severe infection from the animal bite and further contamination.
Treatment Steps Necessary to Follow at Home
For properly handling the wounds and bleeding, you get to follow the steps of first aid.
- Wash the bleeding wound with warm water.
- Apply any antibacterial soap or use hydrogen peroxide and wash it under running water. Use a soft washcloth.
- Press your skin at the wound site so it stops the bleeding.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound.
- Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
- Keep checking the wound; if it still bleeds and the skin swells, consult with your doctor to avoid severe damage.
Do You Need to Seek Medical Treatment?
Generally, in most cases, the dog bites can be handled through first aid, and there is no need to consult the doctor. However, you need to consult the doctor if you are bitten by an unfamiliar dog and do not know the pet owner. In this case, you mostly do not get information about the shot against rabies.
When you get severe injuries, and the wound is bleeding, consult the doctor. If your skin or muscles get ruptured, or the dog penetrates his teeth deep into your tissues, you need to seek treatment. There is a need to seek medical treatment if you have less immunity. Weakened immune systems let the infections spread quickly.
Possible Complications From the Dog Bite
Depending on the wound, site of bitting, and the person’s immune system, several complications can arise from the dog bite. Following are the difficulties one can confront after being bitten by a dog.
Dogs have various germs in their mouths. Even if your family dog has bitten you, it can cause an infection. Many bacteria, including Pasteurella, staphylococcus, and capnocytophaga, reside in the dog’s mouth. If any of these have entered your body, it starts multiplying there and causes infection.
Suppose you are bitten by a dog who is not vaccinated against rabies or is not having any clear rabies vaccination history. In that case, you can be afflicted with life-threatening viral problems. Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the central nervous system and its normal functioning.
Sometimes, while biting, the dog penetrates its teeth so deep that it can damage and break the bones. Many times x-ray reveals such complications.
Nerve and Muscle Damage
When skin is torn by biting, it may damage muscle. Soft tissues rupture, and many organs, including intestinal organs, get injured. Numerous nerves are also damaged if the biting is severe and painful.
There is the very first need to control the aggressive behaviors of the dogs. Basic obedience training can reduce their aggressive play in them. Whenever you or your dog get injured by the biting of another dog, try to get first aid and then seek medical treatment so it will not delay the healing process.