Dogs are a man’s best friend and at times animal instinct takes over and they may take a bite at a person. In India, there are a lot of street dogs and the dog bite is very prevalent especially in areas that are still under development.
As is with every accident, there is a need to make sure that the person affected is given the initial treatment of first aid that can prevent the further aggravation of the condition.
There is a high rate of occurrence for animal bites such as cat, dog and monkey bites in India, but the dog bite has a more serious tone to it since the dog could be previously infected with rabies and can cause the same infection to spread to the person affected. Since there is no cure for rabies, care must be taken to prevent it in the initial stages.
Dog bites can happen even with a familiar dog or even a street dog, so it pays to know what to do in case of a dog bite.
What do you do when there is a dog bite?
- First thing is to make sure the person with the dog bite is moved away from the dogs to prevent more bites.
- Secondly, make sure the person is more relaxed and is not prone to panic after the dog bite.
- Wash the area with running water over the wound for about 10-15 minutes.
- Apply soap and wash off the affected area when the wound is a minor one.
- In case of a deep gash or a wound with blood loss, it is best to stop the flow of blood by using a clean towel and applying pressure to the wound to stop the flow of blood.
- Keep the area of the bite a little elevated.
- Apply a sterile bandage and apply antibiotic cream over it.
But if there are other symptoms of redness, excessive bleeding, pain, and vomiting, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as you can.
The doctors shall prescribe a Tetanus injection shot given on the arm in case the dog has been given its anti-rabies vaccination. In case the dog is not unknown or known to be a rabid one- it is best to get the anti-rabies injection of 5 injections over a period of over 28 days that start as 0-3-7-14-28 ritual, i.e the first injection on the day of the bite and second on the third and so on.
In case there is a dog at home, is highly recommended to make sure a vaccination procedure for anti-rabies is done so that you may relax a little bit with regards to the possibility of a dog bite resulting in rabies.
For people working as caretakers in the animal shelters, veterinarian and pet handlers, it is better to have a preventive injection taken so that they can perform their duties without too many visits to the doctor.
In case of a dog bite, it is recommended that one follows the first aid steps mentioned above and in cases of severe blood loss or bite by a rabid-dog consult the doctor as soon as possible. For more health tips and first aid information, please download the VMEDO app that can help you in times of need.