What to do if you got bitten by a dog

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If you are bitten by a dog, it's important to take immediate action to prevent infection and ensure your safety. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Assess the severity of the bite: Determine the extent of the injury. If the bite is deep, bleeding heavily, or if there is severe pain or difficulty moving the affected area, seek medical attention immediately. If the bite is minor, you can take self-care measures initially.

  2. Wash the wound: Clean the wound thoroughly with mild soap and warm water. Gently remove any dirt, debris, or bacteria from the area to reduce the risk of infection. Rinse the wound for several minutes, ensuring it is completely clean.

  3. Apply pressure and elevate: If the wound is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to control the bleeding. Elevate the affected limb if possible, as it can help reduce swelling.

  4. Apply an antiseptic: After cleaning the wound, apply an antiseptic solution like hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine to help disinfect the area and prevent infection. You can also use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment.

  5. Cover the wound: Use a sterile bandage or a clean cloth to cover the wound. This will protect it from further contamination and promote healing. Change the dressing regularly or if it becomes dirty or wet.

  6. Monitor for signs of infection: Keep an eye on the wound for any signs of infection, such as increasing pain, redness, swelling, warmth, pus, or fever. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.

  7. Seek medical attention: Regardless of the severity of the bite, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional, especially if the dog is unknown or if the wound is deep, extensive, or located on the face, hands, or feet. They can assess the injury, administer appropriate treatment, and evaluate the risk of rabies or other infections.

  8. Report the incident: Contact your local animal control or health department to report the dog bite. Provide them with as much information as possible about the incident and the dog involved. This step is essential for public safety and may help prevent future incidents.

Remember, dog bites can carry the risk of infection, including tetanus and rabies. Seeking medical attention is crucial, especially if you have any concerns about the wound or if the dog's vaccination status is unknown.


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