Animal bites is a common problem in several parts of the world. Dog bites is yet the most common one, with more than 70 percent in percentage. Cat and rodent bites are the next common animal bites. Any kind of animal bites cause a significant pain and similar to some other kinds of wounds, is prone to infection if left untreated. Hands is the most frequent bitten body part and this is more likely to happen to children as they try to pet the animals. Most dog bites on hands are minor and is possible to treat at home. However, aggressive dogs have the chance of causing more severe bites which require an immediate treatment.
Wound resulted from dog bites
Dog bites are commonly caused by its instinct to maintain the territory. Startling a dog can also possibly lead to bites. With minor bite on your hand or finger, you should not be alarmed, since the correct simple procedures of wound healing will soon heal it. Yet, severe bites which are caused by more aggressive, stronger dogs might need specific treatments. When a dog bites, it uses the front teeth to grasp the victim, which results in a deep puncture wound and bleeding caused by its attempt to pull the surrounding skin with the other teeth. Some more severe dog bites also caused jagged skin which may require sutures as the closure. Severe dog bites on hand should be paid attention to because it may not only damage the outer skin layer, but also the muscle and tendons, while minor bites should be treated immediately to prevent infection.
Treating minor dog bites wound on hand
Although the wound size is small, dog bites wound is most of the time, a deep puncture wound. This can be very painful when located on hand, since this is one of the part of the body which require excessive movements. However, minor dog bites usually result in wounds which are recovering within days without any complications if properly treated. To treat dog bites on hand, you might want to consider some steps below:
- Clean the wound under running water.
- Stop the bleeding by squeezing the wounded area until the blood starts to clot.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Dress the wound with sterilized bandage and change the bandage regularly.
Minor dog bites hardly cause further complication. However, if you think that the dog biting you is potential of rabies, you might want to get your wound examined.
Signs of infection
Hands require dynamic movements, which can more or less influence the wounded area. Therefore, limit your movement by bandaging the wound as a reminder to promote a proper healing. Healing process is also slow down by infection. Thus, you should be aware of the initial signs of infection, so that you can seek for early treatments to prevent worse thing. A dog bite on hand is severe when your finger or other bitten hand parts is getting numb. This is a sign that certain tissues or tendons have been damaged. For this, you might need to seek for medical help. Some other bites, however, may heal at home using home remedies, as long as there are no below signs of infection:
- Increasing pain which is accompanied by hard throbbing sensations.
- Severe swelling on the wound or its surrounding area which is painful.
- Excessed fluids or blood with terrible odor.
- High temperature accompanied by muscle pains.
A dog bite which gets infected should be treated immediately by medical professionals. Antibiotics may be needed to inhibit further bacteria growth. Besides, when the wound is on joint, tendons, or muscles, it definitely requires medical attention. You should also be aware if you get bitten by a dog severely and your last tetanus shot is more than 5 years ago, as when a dog bites, it transfers bacteria in its mouth onto the wounded area. Be sure to clean the wound thoroughly and rush yourself to the hospital, as to prevent further complication, a rabies shot might be needed. Avoiding aggressive dogs might be an effective prevention of getting dog bites, although accidents may still happen.