What to do when you are bitten by a dog
Dogs are old companions of man. They can be found everywhere - in large cities, suburban villages and villages remote from civilization. Not always, these wonderful animals are examples of education, and stray dogs, despite the efforts of the authorities, are not decreasing every year. When confronted with such animals for a person is likely to be bitten.
How dangerous are such injuries, what consequences do they have and what to do when a dog bites? Let's sort out these questions.
What is dangerous dog bite
A dog bite is a traumatic injury. The degree of danger depends on several factors.
- Bleeding. The greater the damage, the greater the likelihood that a large vein or artery is affected. With severe injuries, possibly the development of internal bleeding.
- Tissue damage. With superficial bites, only skin is damaged. As a rule, such injuries do not pose a serious threat and heal quickly. When the wounds are torn, the muscles are damaged, in severe cases the joints, ligaments and even the bones.
- Wound infection What to do if a dog bit on the street? When the skin is damaged, various microbes enter the wound, which can cause local inflammation or general sepsis. Especially dangerous is the causative agent of tetanus, which can get into a wound with particles of earth, therefore, it is recommended to inject tetanus toxoid with bites.
- Psychological shock. A dog’s attack can cause a lot of fright, which can have consequences for small children and people with chronic heart disease. Increased blood pressure, the risk of developing heart failure, mental disorders - all this requires immediate medical attention.
- Rabies. Dogs are responsible for infecting people with rabies in about 60% of cases of the total number of cases.
Let's talk about rabies in more detail. What to do if a person is bitten by a dog with signs of rabies, what measures to take?
Symptoms of rabies in humans after a dog bite
Rabies is transmitted to a person with the saliva of an infected animal. At the same time, the dog may not show any external signs, since the virus is released already at the end of the incubation period, a few days before the first signs of the disease appear. Infection of a person is possible, not only by a bite, but also by the ingestion of saliva on damaged skin or mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and nasal cavity. Once in the body, the virus develops rather slowly, spreading along the nerve pathways and affecting the nervous system.
Signs of rabies in a dog:
- behavior change, usually in the direction of aggression;
- the perversion of taste - the animal gnaws wood, rags, eats the earth;
- a sharp reaction to external stimuli (sound, light, touch);
- in the final stage - paresis and paralysis.
Symptoms of rabies in humans after a dog bite develop in 10-15 days. If a person is bitten by a rabid dog, there is no 100% morbidity. The likelihood of being infected with rabies depends on the site of the bite, the amount of virus that has entered the body, the state of the immune system, and some other factors. The greatest probability of infection - with bites in the face, neck, shoulders. With superficial injuries, the incubation period of the disease can be up to 2–3 months in some cases, even up to a year. A person has the following symptoms:
- dry mouth;
- sensitivity increase, fear of bright light, sharp sounds;
- hydrophobia, muscle spasms of the throat;
- disturbance of consciousness;
- paresis and paralysis.
A person’s death occurs in 5–8 days from the moment the first symptoms of rabies appear and is caused by respiratory paralysis. Rabies has almost 100% death. Survivors after the first signs of the disease - units. Therefore, if you are bitten by an unknown dog, it is very important to immediately seek medical help!
Rabies is a preventive doctor. In each municipality on the basis of medical institutions there is a special cabinet. As a rule, they are located in district clinics. There are specialized vaccination centers in major cities. Injections after a dog bite, do as early as possible following the following scheme:
- the first injection is given on the day of treatment, sometimes, depending on the indications, rabies immunoglobulin is administered in parallel;
- The following vaccinations are given on days 3, 7, 14, 30 and 90.
What to do if bitten by a domestic dog? If the owner has appropriate veterinary documents for vaccinating a dog against rabies (valid for a year), then injections should not be made.
In all other cases, vaccination is necessary, but not necessarily a full course of injections.
- If the bite is obtained from a stray animal, then it is advisable to catch a dog and send it to the study. If the dog is outwardly healthy, and when laboratory tests a rabies virus is not detected, then after receiving the results the vaccine shots are stopped. In this case, you will get one or two shots, depending on the speed of the research.
- If a home unvaccinated dog has bitten, then it is sent to quarantine in the state veterinary clinic, where they are kept for 10 days. If during this period the dog did not show signs of the disease, the veterinary service will provide the appropriate conclusion to the medical institution and stop the injections against rabies.
What to do if a dog bit
If a grafted dog has bitten, what to do with injuries? In any case, the victim must be given first aid.
- Inspect the wound - how deep the damage is, whether the vessels, bones, ligaments are affected.
- Before treating a wound after a dog bite, bleeding should be stopped if necessary. If a large artery is damaged, then apply a tourniquet above the site of bleeding; with an injured vein, a pressure bandage is sufficient.
- How to treat a wound after a dog bite: wash with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. If there is no peroxide, it is first washed with water and soapy water, then with one of the antiseptics: a pink solution of potassium permanganate, “Furacilin” (10 tablets of 0.02 grams per liter of water). The skin around the wound is smeared with blueness or 5% alcoholic iodine solution.
- Apply a sterile gauze bandage. It is not necessary to strongly bandage the bandage, if there is no bleeding.
In some cases, such assistance is sufficient for the normal healing of the bite.
When to go to the doctor
For severe injuries, contact a traumatologist. Dogs do two types of damage:
- stab wounds - violate the integrity of the skin;
- lacerated wounds - the skin and tissue under it suffers.
Torn wounds, as well as damage to the face must be sutured.
What to do if the dog bites the child? If there is practically no damage, treat the wound and make sure that it does not inflame. Sometimes the child may need the help of a psychologist to cope with the fears that have arisen.
After the bite, it will take some time for the wound to heal. Minor injuries can be treated on their own. This requires:
- daily inspection and treatment of wounds;
- do not wet the bite;
- daily change the bandage;
- if there is a small discharge from the wound - first rinse with one of the antiseptic solutions (do not use hydrogen peroxide during this period), then use powder;
- if the wound is dry and clean, apply ointment.
When a dog bites, a good treatment is provided by Sintomycin ointment or Vishnevsky emulsion. You can also use antiseptics in a can - “Panthenol”, “Akutol”.
In case of serious injuries, the doctor will provide the necessary assistance, give recommendations on the treatment of the wound, and possibly prescribe a course of antibiotics.
Where to turn if you are bitten by a dog? If the animal is not vaccinated against rabies, it is necessary to undergo a course of injections of the rabies vaccine. If the injuries are superficial, you can treat the wound yourself and go to the anti-rabies office in the clinic or a specialized medical center.
If wound treatment is required, then you need to contact a traumatologist in the clinic or in the emergency room. After treating the wound, the doctor will refer you to rabies vaccination. It takes from three to six injections of the vaccine in order to prevent the possible development of the disease.