Indian streets are filled with stray dogs so it is natural that one gets bitten by a stray dog if they are not careful enough. In cities we know to keep away from them but in rural areas , not everyone knows dangers of getting bitten by a dog. Every year xxx numbers of Indians are bitten by a dog . So when dog bites what is the treatment ?
It is first important to know dog’s vaccination history and in event of stray dog biting, one can assume that dog is unvaccinated for rabies .
Make sure your pet is always vaccinated and regular with his shots.
Dog Bite First-Aid
Wash the area with warm water and soap.
Apply an antibacterial lotion like povidone-iodine or 70% alcohol to the area to disinfect it further as a precaution.
Apply pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding.
Don’t try to stitch the wound yourself or even at primary clinic as in dog bite case , best to let the wound dry on own otherwise bacterial infection will set in .
Dog Bites in Children
Children are more most affected by dog bites -especially infants and toddlers as dogs are very powerful and bites cause other severe wound injury as well. Most bites in children are to the head or face, with 76% affecting lips, nose, or cheeks. Kids should be treated at doctor’s clinic as soon as possible even if pet owner says dog is vaccinated as dog-bite wound itself requires to be cleaned.
Bacterial Infection Risk
Bacteria that are involved in causing infection from dog bite include Staphylococcus, Streptococcus ,capnocytophaga and Pasteurella – All these bacterias live in dog’s mouth .C
Pasteurella multocida and Staphylococcus aureus are the most common aerobic organisms, occurring in 20 to 30 percent of infected dog bite wounds and Pasteurella is usually resistant to Erythromycin or flucloxacillin so it is best to consult doctor who can advice appropriate medicine.
Rabies is transmitted by bite or scratch of infected dog/animal. It kills 30,000-50,000 people worldwide but mostly in developing countries like India where unvaccinated stray dogs are common. It is almost fatal so even minor bites should be taken seriously and after preliminary treatment of bite, one should prepare to get anti rabies vaccine.
Rabies immunization should begin within 48 hours after the bite.
Patients will be given Anti-Rabies Vaccine (VAR) or Anti-Rabies Serum (SAR) as further treatment.
Rabies shots include:
- A fast-acting shot (rabies immune globulin) to prevent the virus from infecting you. This is given if you haven’t had the rabies vaccine. This injection is given near the area where the animal bit you if possible, as soon as possible after the bite.
- A series of rabies vaccinations to help your body learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. Rabies vaccinations are given as injections in your arm. If you haven’t previously had the rabies vaccines, you’ll receive four injections over 14 days. If you have had the rabies vaccine, you’ll have two injections over the first three days.
Anti-Rabies Serum (SAR) is made up of Rabies Immunoglobulin and also aims to trigger the immune system and produce antibodies to neutralize the rabies virus following exposure. Patients with high-risk wounds, such as patients with multiple wounds and wounds on the dermatome areas will receive SAR as further rabies treatment after dog bite. SAR will also give protection for 7-10 days before the antibodies appear. The rabies vaccine is given 4 times in 21 days to previously unvaccinated patients
Dog Bite Prevention
One should be super cautious around dogs – that is the only way to prevent from getting bit.
- Treat dogs with respect, avoid direct eye contact and don’t tease them
- Don’t approach unfamiliar dog , or play with any dog unless owner is nearby.
- Don’t run or scream in presence of a dog
- Don’t pet a dog without at first letting it sniff you
- And don’t ever disturb a dog that is eating , sleeping or caring for puppies.
In conclusion, getting bit by a dog is super risky and scary thing. One should take all the precautions while around a dog and never hesitate to get immediate medical attention in the unfortunate case, a dog indeed bites you.
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