Treating a Dog Bite

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dog bites are some of the most common causes of injuries in children. Every year, about 1.4 million dog bites are recorded in the United States, and an overwhelming majority of these involve little children. Many of these bites end with serious and mutilating injuries.

Treatment of a dog bite will always include first aid and cleaning. Soon after the bite has occurred, wash the area with warm water. If there is any bleeding, stop it by placing pressure around the wound. Besides, your child might require a tetanus shot, and the doctor may also prescribe antibiotics. An antibiotic program of between 3 to 7 days is considered ideal. If your child has had less than three doses of tetanus shots, here she might need a shot after a dog bite.  An additional shot may be necessary if it has been more than five years since the last tetanus shot, or if the bite was serious.

In case of a stray dog or a dog whose owner is not available, it can be hard to verify if the dog has been vaccinated. Your pediatrician may therefore recommend a rabies immunoglobulin vaccine. In such cases, your child may need a vaccine within 48 hours of the bite. If you're not sure whether your child needs a rabies shot, it's best to contact your pediatrician. You can also ask your local animal control office.  However, the chances of a rabies-infected dog biting your child, are rare. Rabies has been largely eradicated from the US, and most rabies cases now only involve wild animals like raccoons.

A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles would advise you to focus harder on preventing dog bites. Teach your child about the right way to behave around dogs. Teach your child never to tease, pull or even pet a strange dog.


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