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Do I Need Antibiotics For A Dog Bite

What To Do When Another Dog Bites Your Dog

Dog & Cat Bites – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

Animals can be unpredictable creatureseven our true-blue four-legged friends. The most diligent dog owners may find themselves in the scary situation of having their dog be bitten by another dog.

Molly Sumridge, a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, says that dog bite incidents are responsible for about 80 percent of her business at Kindred Companions LLC, a dog training company she founded in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

When your pup sustains a dog bite, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, keeping a cool head in the event of a dog bite, knowing what youre looking for when assessing the injury, and having an idea of what to do next can help ensure that the wounded dog receives the proper care and makes a speedy recovery.

Does My Dog Need To Be Seen By The Veterinarian After It Has Been In A Fight

If a dog has been involved in a fight, it can sometimes be challenging to determine the extent of the injuries, particularly if the wounds are located in heavily furred areas of the body. Small puncture wounds from canine teeth can close over rapidly and can easily be missed.

Therefore, if your dog has been in a fight with another animal, you should take him to your veterinarian for an examination as soon as possible. If you can see obvious bite wounds, you should seek immediate veterinary attention. Wounds that appear to be minor on the surface can be deceptive and may have the potential to be life threatening, depending on the location of the injury.

Are Dog Cat Or Bat Bites Serious

Dog or cat bites are usually minor, but infections can occur if the skin is broken and bacteria from the saliva of the animal enter your bloodstream.

To avoid developing tetanus, seek medical advice immediately if you are bitten and the skin is broken. Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that releases toxins into the blood, and it can be fatal. Your healthcare professional may recommend you have a tetanus booster injection.

Animal bites are a common cause of injury. Dog and cat bites are the most frequent, but any animal including pets, wild animals and humans can bite you.

You should avoid handling bats or flying foxes in Australia unless you are trained in their care.

If you have been, or think you may have been, bitten or scratched by a bat seek immediate medical attention.

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The Cornerstone Of Treatment For Dog Bites Is Meticulous Wound Care

Optimal treatment of dog bites starts with generous irrigation of the wound with saline solution and debridement, including removal of foreign bodies and devitalized tissue.1,2 If there is any suspicion of infection, cultures of blood and purulent fluid should be obtained, as cultures only of the wound may be contaminated by skin flora.

What Sort Of Home Care Will Be Necessary

The 5 Best Probiotics for Cats of 2020 + Why They Are Beneficial

If your dog’s wounds have been closed with sutures, you will need to keep the area clean and dry. He may need to wear an E-collar , or a bandage may be applied to cover the site . If the wound has been left open to heal, or if a drain was placed in the wound, you will need to clean away any draining material on a regular basis. You can use a soft washcloth or cotton balls and warm water to remove debris. In some cases, your veterinarian will prescribe a mild disinfectant cleanser to assist with keeping the area clean. Use only products that are recommended by your veterinarian. Never use hydrogen peroxide to clean a bite wound unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian, since this will delay healing and can worsen the problem.

If you have been instructed to clean the wounds, use extreme care since these wounds may be painful and the pet may bite out of pain or fear. It is advisable to use a muzzle on your dog, even if he is extremely gentle.

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Insect Bites And Stings

Insect bites and stings are a common presentation in primary care. The true rate of insect bites and stings is unknown as most instances go unreported. One recent survey of GPs found that all respondents had managed patients with insect bites in the previous year, and that further investigations and referrals to secondary care were rare.3

Most insect bites and stings result in minor local reactions, which usually last from a few hours to several days.4 They usually present as a red lump, with or without an area of surrounding erythema, and are often associated with swelling and itching.1 Bacterial infection can result, but is uncommon.1 Treatment should normally be directed towards first aid and symptomatic relief of the inflammatory reaction.1

Rarely, large local skin reactions, or potentially life-threatening systemic reactions including anaphylaxis, can occur in some people.4

When To Call Animal Control

You should call animal control or your local police if you are bitten by:

  • An animal that behaves in an odd way
  • An unknown pet or a pet that has not had a rabies vaccination
  • A stray or wild animal

Tell them what the animal looks like and where it is. They will decide whether the animal needs to be captured and isolated.

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When Should You Go To The Doctor For A Dog Bite

Wash the wound daily, and check it for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, warmth, a foul odor, or whitish-yellow discharge. Call 911 and seek emergency medical care if the victim is bleeding profusely from multiple wounds. Call a doctor if: Bleeding doesnt stop after 15 minutes of pressure.

Bacteria From Bites Raises Infection Risk

How To Treat Dog Bite Infection On Dogs Easily

Roughly 50% ofdog bites introduce bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus and pasteurella, as wellas capnocytophaga.

Unvaccinatedand feral dogs can also potentially carry and transfer rabies, so your doctor will want to know details about thedog that bit you.

Ultimately, Dr.Sayles says, caring for a dog bite is about keeping bacteria from causing aninfection.

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Tetanus Toxoid Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid And Acellular Pertussis Vaccine

The vaccine combination tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine promotes active immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis by inducing production of specific neutralizing antibodies and antitoxins. It is indicated for active booster immunization for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis prevention for persons aged 10-64 years . It is the preferred vaccine for adolescents scheduled for booster.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog Bite To Heal

Your bite may take as little as 7 days or as long as several months to heal, depending on how bad it is. Taking good care of your wound at home will help it heal and reduce your chance of infection. The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later.

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Human And Animal Bites

Bite wounds can take a variety of forms, including lacerations, puncture wounds, and crush or degloving injuries. Different animals typically inflict different patterns of wounds.

Human bites are usually wounds inflicted by actual biting, or clenched-fist injuries sustained when a clenched fist hits a persons teeth, often during a fight. The latter typically cause small wounds over the knuckle area of the hand.9

Dog bites usually involve puncture wounds from the canine teeth, while the other teeth bite and tear tissues, and cause structural damage.9

Cats have fine, sharp teeth and can inflict deep puncture wounds contaminated with saliva. Although cat bite puncture wounds may appear small, they can be deep and are capable of penetrating bone, joints, and tendons.9 Cat bites are approximately twice as likely to become infected as dog bites, with 3050% of cat bites becoming infected compared with 525% of dog bites.10

Bites From Other Animals

Proper Dosage Of Penicillin For Cats

Other animal bites are less common in practice but the most frequently encountered are rat bites. Although antibiotic prophylaxis is not indicated for minor injuries, a clinical syndrome of rat-bite fever should be kept in mind if patients present with malaise, fever and progressive arthralgia following a rat bite. The causative organism in the rare cases reported in Australia is Streptobacillus moniliformis.5In Asia the causative organism is Streptobacillus minor. The organism may be grown in blood cultures. Treatment is intravenous penicillin for 5-7 days followed by oral penicillin for seven days.

An extremely rare but fatal viral encephalitis may occur after bat bites or scratches in Australia. The causative agent is Australian bat lyssavirus which is nearly identical to rabies virus.6Australian bat lyssavirus infection should be considered in a patient with a history of a bat bite or exposure, who presents with meningoencephalitis. Long incubation periods can occur. The most important initial management of bat bite or scratches is immediate wound care with soap and water . Rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin should be administered as for post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.

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Video Answer: Treatment Of Pet Bites

Some animals such as bats, raccoons, and foxes can spread rabies.

Kids whose tetanus shots are not up to date will need a shot after an animal bite to prevent tetanus infection.

Dog bite could lead to local wound infection, tetanus, or rabies that could come from either the saliva of biter, skin flora of victim, or the environment.

This highlights the need for active prophylaxis in all but the most trivial of wounds and passive prophylaxis in high risk wounds.

You may need a tetanus shot depending on how dirty the wound is and how long it has been since your last shot.

For a deep or dirty wound that has things like dirt, saliva, or feces in it, you may need a shot if: You haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years.

Antibiotics will kill many bacterial probiotics because the Antibiotics cannot distinguish between helpful and harmful bacteria.

In fact, studies have shown that when giving S boulardii along with an antibiotic, pets are much less likely to develop diarrhea during or after the course of Antibiotics.

Amoxicillin/clavulanate is the first-line prophylactic antibiotic.

The need for rabies prophylaxis should be addressed with any animal bite because even domestic animals are often unvaccinated.

What Should I Look Out For After A Dog Or Cat Bite

The most common complication following a bite is an infection of the wound. See a doctor as soon as possible if the skin surrounding a wound becomes more tender, painful, swollen, or inflamed over the following few days. Rarely, some germs can get into the bloodstream through a wound and cause a serious infection in the body. See a doctor urgently if you become generally unwell with a high temperature , shivers, or other worrying symptoms within a week or so after a dog or cat bite.

Some people, particularly children, may become scared of dogs if they have been bitten. They may get nightmares, or become worried. To try to stop this, talk to them about what happened, and why, and help them learn to interact with pets safely. If they are still having problems, see a doctor.

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Treating Minor Wounds Or Cuts From Bites

You can easily treat a minor wound or cut yourself a larger or more serious wound will need medical attention.

A wound or cut is considered deep if tendons or other internal parts can be seen. A gaping wound is one where the edges of the cut cannot be pulled back together.

If the wound is still bleeding:

  • cover it with a clean cloth, apply pressure with the palm of your hand, then keep the pressure on the wound for 15 minutes
  • apply pressure directly over the affected area with a pad made from a clean, rolled up piece of material such as a handkerchief or towel the material should be dampened with clean water if possible since this will reduce the amount of blood soaked up
  • use a bandage to wrap around the pad or dressing do not wrap the bandage too tightly since it may affect the circulation
  • if the bleeding is very heavy, it may seep through the bandage you should use a second dressing to cover the first one
  • if the bleeding continues through both bandages and pads, remove the second bandage only and apply a new one
  • do not look at the wound to see if it has stopped bleeding in case removing the pressure causes it to start bleeding again

If the wound is not bleeding:

Why Do Dogs Bite

How To Treat Dog Bite? – First Aid, Infections, Treatment & Rabies

Most attacks are apparently unprovoked, but dogs are not always to blame. Dogs resent being disturbed while eating and dislike being threatened or feeling that their territory is being invaded, and they can be jealous of attention given to other family members.

There is much debate about which dogs attack humans the most. Most reviewers conclude that the higher risk animals include larger dogs, German shepherd dogs, pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and chows, but all dogs should be considered dangerous even smaller dogs such as Jack Russell terriers inflict severe bites.6,7,8

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What Should I Do

You should clean the wound no matter how small the cut to the skin. There are many germs in animal mouths. Cleaning will reduce the chance of infection. If the wound is small, you can clean it yourself. Just use ordinary tap water. Let it bleed freely, unless the bleeding is very heavy. If the wound is bleeding heavily, use a clean pad, or preferably a sterile dressing, to apply pressure until you can get medical treatment. Wounds that are large, deep, punctured or dirty are best cleaned and assessed by a nurse or doctor.

After cleaning, cover the wound with a sterile, non-sticky dressing. Consider going to see your doctor, or attending A& E.

When Should I See A Health Professional Following A Cat Or Dog Bite

For all bites which break the skin, it is sensible to see a health professional for assessment

Unless it is a very trivial bite, it is wise to seek medical advice. If the wound is bleeding heavily, attend an accident and emergency or minor injuries unit. Also attend A& E if the bite is on an ear, nose or face, or if a child has been bitten on the head. For other bites, see your GP. See a doctor for any cat bite, as these are particularly likely to become infected.

In countries where rabies is a risk, see a doctor for even a trivial bite. If your tetanus jabs aren’t up to date, see a health professional to have a booster.

In particular, get the bite assessed if:

  • The bleeding is heavy .
  • The wound is wide or deep.
  • The bite is on the head of a small child .
  • The bite is on your face, ears, hands, genitals or over joints.
  • There is a possibility the dog or cat has rabies.
  • You have not had a complete course of tetanus immunisation, or if your booster is due.
  • The skin around the bite has become red or hot, or if the wound is oozing.
  • You develop a high temperature after a bite.

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How Should Dog Bites Be Managed

Box 1 suggests how to take a history and do an examination in a patient presenting with a dog bite, and box 2 outlines initial management procedures. Where adequate debridement of deep penetrating wounds is not possible, it is common practice, although unsupported by strong evidence, to irrigate the wound with 250 ml saline, using a 19 or 20 gauge needle or plastic intravenous catheter on a 35 ml syringe.w3 w4

When Families Are Considering Getting A Dog

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Dogs can play an important role in family life. As the canine population grows, so does the need for guidance to prevent dog bites. Prevention can begin with information from primary care professionals and veterinarians. Because a large percentage of dog bite victims are younger than 14 years, it is appropriate to begin prevention education with children and parents. Families acquiring a pet should consider their home environment and be told that a dog younger than four months is preferred. An older dog should not be introduced into a household with children because the dog’s behavior cannot be predicted. Prospective dog owners should obtain breed-specific information before getting a new dog.

Some breeds of dogs are more likely to attack despite training. Other breeds seem to be accepted more as âfamily dogsâ .4,16 Families should be educated to avoid âhumanizingâ their dog and treating the dog as a child or a substitute for a mate.4 This type of behavior makes it more difficult for the animal to distinguish between animal and master and may increase the risk of the dog biting.

Aggressive dogs
Bull Terrier

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What Causes Animal Bite Infections

Infection from animal bites is caused by bacteria. The bacteria can be found in the mouth or saliva of the animal. The bacteria then enter the wound after being on the skin. The bacteria can also be present in the environment.

Animal bites are often polymicrobial, which means that multiple species of bacteria are involved.

Tetanus, a bacterial disease affecting the nervous system, can develop from the bacteria. This is a serious condition. Puncture wounds from animal bites are the most likely to lead to tetanus.

The most common symptoms of infection from animal bites are redness, pain, swelling, and inflammation at the site of the bite. You should seek immediate medical treatment if any of these symptoms continue for more than 24 hours.

Other symptoms of infection include:

  • pus or fluid oozing from the wound
  • tenderness in areas near the bite
  • loss of sensation around the bite
  • limited use of the finger or hand if the hand was bitten
  • red streaks near the bite
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • breathing difficulties
  • muscle weakness or tremors

You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible if any of these less common symptoms are present, particularly if the symptoms are not improving on their own.

Cat bites carry a much higher risk of infection than dog bites.

Other risk factors that increase the chances of a bite turning into an infection include:

To diagnose infection from an animal bite, your doctor will ask about the bite. Questions to expect from your doctor include:

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