Dog Bite

Proper Care for a Dog Bite

How to Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog

While animal attacks are considered rare by today's standards, some nonetheless will occur throughout the United Kingdom. A dog attack can be particularly vicious if the animal feels threatened, has been provoked or is suffering from a degenerative disease. Keeping a cool head is of the utmost importance when faced with such a situation.

The first thing to remember is: DO NOT RUN. This will cause the animal to chase and it may actually become more violent. Running triggers an instinctual hunting reaction in dogs, so it is important to remain still.

Avoid making any physical movement. Do not approach nor try to placate the animal. Instead, stand as still as possible with hands in pockets and with a non-threatening posture. It is recommended to turn to one side and to avoid eye contact, as the animal may feel that it is being challenged otherwise.

The only time that one should move is if there is an object that is at least three feet above the ground that can be mounted easily and is within reach. A dog will be less likely to approach what he considers an adversary if that adversary is higher up.

So, a few tips that can help prevent a dog attack are to:
  • Never run but instead remain calm.
  • Avoid making any threatening movements or gestures.
  • Only climb an object if it within reach.

If you get bitten by a dog...

However, dog attacks can and will happen. Assuming that one has been bitten, it is first necessary to address the wound as soon as possible. Initial care will include washing the affected area and treating the injury with hydrogen peroxide or preferably with tincture of iodine. Obviously, medical help should be found immediately to avoid infections.

One extremely dangerous factor is the possibility of contracting rabies. This disease is normally fatal if left untreated for more than ten days. Symptoms will include lethargy, fever and headache. Within days, these will progress to anxiety, confusion, cerebral dysfunction and often times death. During these final stages, there is no cure. All care and treatments are instead palliative and designed to put the victim at ease.

However, there are treatment options if this disease is caught at the early stages. A type of chemical known as an immunoglobin is immediately administered by injection around the area of the wound. This will be done over a fourteen day period. Normally, recovery rates are near one hundred percent in such cases. In addition, vaccines exist that can help immunize one against this disease. They are administered subcutaneously and will last for years.

Once again, some of the most important steps involved in a dog bite treatment are:
  • A cleaning of the wound to prevent infections.
  • Prompt medical treatment.
  • In the case of rabies, immediate medical intervention.
  • As a preventative measure, a vaccination against the disease.