A dog bite can happen when you least expect it, even with animals that appear well-trained and behaved. According to the Cleveland Clinic, proper first-aid after a dog bite is crucial to preventing more serious effects.
There are certain health risks associated with dog bites, including infection and disease. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk and ensure effective medical treatment.
Schedule an appointment with a doctor
Serious injuries require immediate medical intervention, such as those with excessive bleeding. However, all dog bite victims should visit their doctor as soon as possible after the injury. In addition to examining the injury, the doctor can also prescribe antibiotics if there is a risk of infection. A doctor will also assess your rabies risk if bitten by an unknown animal, which ensures you can get started on important treatment if necessary.
Wash the wound carefully
You must perform essential first-aid before your doctor’s appointment to reduce the risk of infection. Clean the wound thoroughly to eliminate bacteria and other contaminants. Wash the wound for at least ten minutes using mild soap and warm water. If it is still bleeding, use a clean, dry cloth to apply pressure.
Keep the wound protected
Once clean, apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. Cover the area with a sterile cloth, making sure it fits comfortably. You will receive a list of care instructions from your doctor after your visit. Make sure you follow these instructions to the letter. Changing the bandage several times a day lowers the risk of infection.
Watch for signs of infection
When changing the bandage, keep an eye on the wound. Things like swelling and redness typically indicate an emerging infection. You may also experience fever and pain as the infection worsens. These effects require immediate examination by a doctor.