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How to self-treat a dog bite

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Dog Bites

Although many Georgia pet owners are responsible and keep their dogs on leashes while out, dog bites may still happen. A pet might overcome its owner while leashed, or the owner might take the leash off, and the dog can bite someone. If a dog bites you, here are some steps to self-treat your wound.

Clean the wound

Use warm water and mild soap to thoroughly clean the wound. Rinse it for at least five to 10 minutes to eliminate as much bacteria as possible. Scrubbing the wound is also necessary because it lowers the risk of infection, but, unfortunately, it might hurt.

Slow or stop the bleeding

Place a clean, dry cloth over the dog bite wound, and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. If it doesn’t stop, you can at least slow the bleeding. Go to your nearest hospital emergency room if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few minutes as you might need stitches and a rabies vaccine.

Apply ointment and a bandage

If you have an antibiotic ointment or cream, apply it to your wound after washing it. Cover the area with a dry, sterile bandage, and tape it in place. It should be secure but doesn’t need to be tight. If the wound isn’t too bad, allowing some air inside the bandage can help it scab over and heal faster.

See a doctor if you haven’t gone to the emergency room. He or she can assess the dog bite and determine the next necessary steps.

Change the bandage and watch the injury

After you’ve seen a doctor, continue changing your bandage twice or three times a day. Keep an eye on the wound to note any changes to your skin. If there are any, you may need further medical care.

Most bites come from your own pet and are not serious. However, being wary of strays and strange dogs might prevent serious dog bites.