Dog bites can often be treated at home. However, many people require medical attention. If the dog bite resulted in a minor laceration without heavy bleeding, these are some easy home care steps to follow.
1. Clean The Wound
It is important to clean the wound immediately. When it is not possible to wash it out within minutes of being bitten, seek medical attention as soon as possible. For example, someone who is bitten while out hiking should seek medical attention upon returning to the city. However, washing it out thoroughly with soap and warm water will help wash away bacteria. Use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to disinfect the wound.
2. Treat The Wound
Look for a triple antibiotic ointment to put on the wound. If it is necessary to make a trip to the store to find some, keep the wound bandaged with gauze or an adhesive sterile bandage while going to the store. Wash the wound again upon returning home. Wash hands, sterilize them with rubbing alcohol and place some ointment on the wound.
3. Bandage The Wound
It may be possible to use a small or large sterile adhesive bandage based on the size of the wound. If it is too long or there are multiple small wounds in a row, use gauze and medical tape instead. Fold the sterile gauze into the right size of pad to cover the wound, or simply wrap it if the wound is on the wrist or forearm. Use the tape to secure the gauze.
4. Change Bandages Daily
Be sure to change the bandage and clean the wound every day. When the wound is no longer seeping blood or fluid, remove the bandage. Leaving it open to air will help it heal. However, the wound should still be cleaned every day. Apply more triple antibiotic ointment to the wound after each cleaning. As it scabs over, applying a salve such as Aquaphor may help speed up the healing process.
When a dog bite is severe enough that it bleeds or rips tissue badly, it is important to go to the emergency room immediately. People who try to treat dog bites at home may notice that the bite is red and painful despite proper care. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately. Redness, swelling and pain can be signs of a severe developing infection. Even the smallest infections can lead to sepsis, which can be fatal. Never underestimate the severity of a dog bite. When a dog bite injury happens while visiting another person’s property or because of a careless dog owner, victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and damages.