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Dog Bites

A dog bite can be minor, barely creating a scratch. Or, it can pierce the skin and even lead to an infection. A dog bite can spread bacteria that can cause tetanus, rabies, or sepsis, and require treatment.

Symptoms of a Dog Bite Infection

A dog bite can cause the following symptoms of an infection:
  • Swelling and redness around the wound

  • Pain that persists for more than 24 hours

  • Difficulty moving the injured body part

  • Warmth around the wound

  • Drainage from the wound

Dog poised to bite on an open field
Male adult restraining aggressive dog

An infection from a dog bite can spread to other parts of the body and cause fever, shaking, and night sweats.

Signs of complications from a dog bite infection include:

  • Blistering around the wound

  • Fever

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Joint pain

  • Abnormal body temperature

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  • Confusion

  • Muscle spasms

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Weakness

  • Itching or prickling around the bite

  • Cramping in the jaw

  • Extreme daytime sleepiness

  • Severe pain or discomfort

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Muscle stiffness

Left untreated, a dog bite can eventually lead to kidney failure, heart attack, and gangrene.

Image of dog bite on woman’s leg

Steps To Take After A Dog Bite

The following steps can help prevent an infection from a dog bite:

  • Wash the wound with soap and warm water

  • Apply antibiotic cream

  • Wrap the wound with a clean bandage

For deeper wounds:

  • Press a dry cloth against the wound to stop the bleeding

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible

  • Call 911 if the bleeding is uncontrollable or causes feeling of faintness

Patients should seek medical attention especially if they’re unsure about the dog’s rabies vaccination status.

Early Treatment For Dog Bites

During a medical appointment, the physician will examine the wound for damage to nerves or bones. Diagnostic tests may also be necessary. Dog bites that caused severe or facial wounds may need to be stitched to close the wound.

Treatment Options

Treatment for dog bites will depend on the severity of the patient’s injury and symptoms. At Central Nevada Regional Care, patients may be treated with joint and soft tissue injections, pain management therapy, and occupational medicine.

Joint and soft tissue injections may help alleviate pain from dog bites that caused soft tissue injuries. Pain management therapy may also help patients experiencing severe pain. Treatments may include hot and cold therapy, massage, acupuncture, cognitive behavior therapy, physical therapy, yoga, tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, opioids, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Complications of dog bites can lead to long-term illness that interferes with daily life and impairs a survivor’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities in the workplace. In these cases, occupational medicine could help the patient adjust to the demands of the workplace as they recover from their injury.

Staff at Central Nevada Regional Care are also trained to help employers adapt the workplace to the limitations of injured employees. Occupational medicine can help both employers and injured employees create a plan that will meet their needs.

Advanced Treatment

Some patients may need advanced treatment to address injuries sustained from a dog bite. Advanced treatment may involve surgery. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician at Central Nevada Regional Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for their injuries.


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OPEN HOURS

Monday-Friday
8:00AM - 5:00 PM

APPOINTMENTS

call us to schedule
an appointment at

EMERGENCY SERVICE

we provide
emergency services

7 DAYS A WEEK