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
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
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
Abnormal body temperature
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Itching or prickling around the bite
Cramping in the jaw
Extreme daytime sleepiness
Severe pain or discomfort
Left untreated, a dog bite can eventually lead to kidney failure, heart attack, and gangrene.
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 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.
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