First Aid Essentials: If A Dog Bites You, Do These 7 Things Now

    Playing with your dog, and in between growling and tail wagging, those canine teeth can bite you too. Dog bites can happen for a lot of reasons. Strays or other strange dogs are also a menace these days. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation claims that it is sterilising over 300 stray dogs every month. But, there is no visible dip in the number of dog bite cases in the city. On an average, 40 dog bite cases are reported daily. In fact, children are more likely than adults to be injured by a dog bite.

    How To Treat A Dog Bite

    You need to provide first aid right away to reduce the risk of infection. Then, it is imperative to visit the doctor within eight hours, the same day. An open, jagged wound may become infected. It is often severe. In case of diabetes, the infection risk is even greater. In order to provide immediate care for a dog bite, follow these 7 steps at home:

    1. Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
    2. Try to keep the injured area elevated.
    3. Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
    4. If available, apply over-the counter antibiotic cream.
    5. Wrap the wound with a sterilised bandage. Visit your doctor now.
    6. Change the bandage several times in a day.
    7. Be careful of signs of infection like redness, swelling, pain and fever.

    Where To Visit For A Checkup

    There are two dedicated dispensaries for dog bite cases in Chandigarh, in Sector 19 and Sector 38.

    Be prepared to answer a few queries your doctor might want to know about the dog that bit you, and how it happened. Dogs that are not vaccinated and feral dogs can transfer the risk of rabies.

    The doctor will clean the wound again, apply an antibiotic ointment and prescribe antibiotics, such as Augmentin. If your tetanus vaccine is out-of-date, be ready for a booster shot. Depending on the wound, your doctor may also recommend stitches. Generally, if it is not on the face, a dog bite is left open so as to heal itself.

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