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10 Questions to Help You Avoid Dog Bites


Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Our Site recently interviewed her on the topic of avoiding dog bites. Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

[Editor's Note: You should never approach a dog you don't know without consulting his/her owner first]

1. What are signs someone should look for before approaching an unfamiliar dog?

You want to look at their overall body language – does the dog seem relaxed, does it approach you on its own, etc.? If you see signs of stress, this is a big red flag to give the dog its space. Signs of stress include hard stares, freezing, growling, lip licking, excessive yawning, panting, pacing, “hard” (taut) body language throughout, hackles up, tail up and straight or wagging but in a stiff motion, tail tucked under in fear, barking continuously, body blocking, and more.

We usually use the following analogy: you want to look at the entire body of a dog to understand what he’s saying. A common misconception is “a wagging tail means the dog is happy.” However, the meaning of a wagging tail can vary based on context, much like the meaning of single word would vary depending on context. Instead, think of each part of a dog’s body – the eyes, ears, tail, fur, body tension, and so on – like individual words. Combine them all together to form a “sentence” to better understand what a dog is saying.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

2. If a confrontation does occur, what should I do?

The best thing to do is not get into a confrontation in the first place. If you see any of the previously mentioned signs of aggressive body language:

  • Move away from the dog slowly and avoid eye contact
  • Keep your chin low and your face angled away from the dog (but keep an eye on his position out of the corner of your eye)
  • Turn your body sideways; keep your arms at your sides to appear less threatening
  • Talk to the dog in a quiet voice. (This is more to keep you breathing steady).

You want to give the dog some space so he feels less threatened. If the dog does lunge at you, remain calm and try to put as much space as you can between you and the dog. If the dog continues to come at you and you fear for your safety, you can try to put something between you and the dog: a piece of clothing, a purse or whatever you have handy. If the dog happens to bite and hold, for example, your arm, try not to pull back as this actually can encourage the dog to bite down harder and will cause more serious injuries. Instead, do your best to push into the dog — avert your eyes and try to stay calm. Wait until he releases so you can move away. Do NOT make the dog more agitated by screaming, yelling, and/or running during an attack.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

3. What are some of the signs that a dog could be getting ready to bite?

Signs include hard stares/whale eyes, growling, pulled back lips, hackles up, and an overall stiff posture. Be aware, though, that some dogs will not give many signals. A big mistake that owners often make is to punish a dog for growling when they’re fearful. This teaches the dog that growling is bad, and then they feel forced to move immediately to the next step which is biting. So if you feel uncomfortable around a dog, really pay attention to the minutest details of their body language.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

4. In your experience, what are the most common reasons a dog will bite a person?

The vast majority of bites occur on the property where a dog lives. Of those, the overwhelming majority are unneutered males who are chained outside. Generally, the cause is fear, frustration or anxiety and being put in a situation where the dog feels threatened or unsafe. The dog, whatever the specific circumstance, feels that biting is his only option to end whatever is happening to upset him because he hasn’t been given an alternative behavior to go to.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

5. Should I begin to teach an aggressive dog submissive behavior?

You shouldn’t teach a dog “submissive” behavior – that is a very common misconception. Instead, work with a qualified professional to develop a behavior modification plan that desensitizes the dog to whatever stimulus is causing him to get upset. Use management and environmental enrichment to help give the dog sound behavioral options to move toward.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

6. How do I discourage play-biting?

Proper socialization with other dogs when your dog is a puppy is one of the best ways to teach bite inhibition. If the dog puts teeth on your skin, you can gently redirect him to something appropriate to chew on, such as a toy or a chew. Praise the dog for chewing the acceptable item. You can make a yelping noise to get the dog’s attention if he puts his teeth on bare skin, and make sure you praise him profusely for moving away from your skin. Playing tug can actually also help with this.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

7. Can certain medical conditions cause aggression in dogs?

Yes, absolutely, which is why a good behavior consultant or trainer will always require you to have a full vet check-up prior to beginning any behavior modification plan. Just like with people, a dog can become grumpy and irritable when in pain. Other medical issues, such as problems with thyroid levels, vision loss, age, and more, can contribute to aggressive behavior.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

8. How early should I start socializing my puppy to get him used to being around people/other pets?

As soon as you possibly can. If you are concerned about vaccinations, have the dog meet adult dogs that you know and bring them to puppy classes where proper cleaning protocols are observed. There is a very short window of time for proper socialization and the more you socialize your puppy, the less likely you are to see behavior problems in the future. The optimal times for puppies to interact with other dogs is between 3-7 weeks and with humans is between 8-12 weeks.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

9. How should you deal with a puppy that growls if you take away his toy/bone?

I would recommend consulting a trainer or behavior consultant experienced in this behavior ASAP. This is an issue that, if not handled properly, can cause irreparable damage to the dog. Visit www.apdt.com or www.iaabc.org for someone who can assist you. There are so many factors involved in behavior training and working with an expert is the preferable and safest option.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Mychelle Blake is the Chief Executive Officer for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Mychelle worked with Katenna Jones, Director of Educational Programs for the APDT, to supply us with these important answers.

10. Do we really want to be dominant in our relationship with dogs?

Dominance is really a concept that we wish people would stop using when it comes to dogs. Dogs are not wolves, and even among wolves the popular understanding of the “alpha” is wrong. For more on this topic follow these links:

  • http://www.apdt.com/about/ps/dominance.aspx
  • http://apdt.com/petowners/choose/dominance.aspx

The key takeaway is that you should work with your dog to build a positive relationship where you both can communicate what you need in your own species-specific ways. A dog and owner should not be seen as being locked in some sort of battle of wills. The misuse of dominance terminology and theories has only led to conflict, fear and frustration on the dog’s part and is a key contributor to dog bites.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


How to Stop Puppy Biting

Puppies’ mouths are filled with about 28 teeny-tiny razors that seem to be attracted to your fingers or toes. Dog trainers call it “play biting,” but it’s irksome and often painful when your cuddly pup seems to be all teeth. However, this is completely normal for puppy teething and necessary for development, and something you can train away with a few simple steps.

Teach your puppy bite inhibition

Learning how to moderate the force of a bite is very important for all dogs. There may come a time when they’re in pain or fearful, and they put their mouth on you or someone else. But if they’ve learned bite inhibition, they understand that they shouldn’t bite down hard. Puppies naturally nip at each other while playing. If they bite too hard on their mother or littermate, the other dog will likely make a loud yelp sound, warning the puppy, “Hey, that hurt!”

Depending on the dog, you can teach this, as well, by making a high-pitched “ow!” sound if they bite you. Beware though, because, for some puppies, this actually gets them even more worked up and likely to bite. In this case, it is better to turn quietly around, walk away, or gently put the pup into their crate for a few minutes to calm down. If they do back off, be sure to reward your dog with a treat and some verbal praise.

Teach your puppy that biting means “game over”

If your puppy bites you while playing, that means playtime is over, with no exceptions. Yelling at or physically punishing your puppy, as strange as it sounds, is also a type of reward. It teaches them that biting gets some kind of response from you, which is known as negative reinforcement. This can also make them fearful of being handled. Instead, teach them that biting will get them nothing. Kathy Santo, dog trainer and columnist for AKC Family Dog, suggests turning around and tucking your hands into your armpits.

“It’s actually a calming signal and a minor form of attention withdrawal,” she says. “And be careful not to roughhouse with your young pup in ways that only encourage them to lose control and bite you.”

Give your puppy an alternative item to chew

It’s a good idea to keep a puppy chew toy at hand at all times, so you can anticipate biting behavior and substitute the toy for your hand or furniture. Doing so will let pups know what is OK to bite or chew. If they start nibbling at your fingers or toes while you’re playing, offer a toy instead.

Again, if they continue to nip, stop the play session immediately. If you’ve been training your puppy to sit, you might also redirect them by asking them to sit and rewarding with a toy.

Prevent the pounce

If your puppy is pouncing on your legs or feet as you walk, a common playful puppy behavior, Santo recommends holding a high-value treat next to your leg as you walk, to help the puppy learn to walk nicely alongside you. This same tactic is used when teaching a puppy to walk on a leash.

Put them in a time-out

Gently put your puppy in their crate to give them a chance to calm down and prevent them from biting. It’s very important to make sure that they don’t learn to associate the crate with punishment, so be calm. Once the pup calms down, you can let them out.

Offer quiet time or a potty break

Sometimes a biting puppy is really an over-tired puppy, and they need to be put in a quiet space or crate to take a nap. Other times, they may need a potty break, or may just be hungry or thirsty.

Help use up some energy

When the puppy keeps biting, even after you substitute a toy several times, he may just need to burn up some physical or mental energy. Take them in the yard and watch them run around.

Reinforce behaviors you desire

We sometimes forget that when our puppy is calm and quiet, we should reinforce that with a “good dog” or a piece of kibble or a pat. You’ll help them learn what behaviors you’re looking for through positive reinforcement.

Never hit your dog

Never, ever hit or otherwise physically punish your dog. If your pet seems to be biting out of aggression, speak to a veterinarian or dog trainer about ways to manage that behavior.

Enroll in a puppy class.

An AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class or another well-run local class will provide your puppy with the chance to socialize with other dogs.

Teaching your little manic play biter to be polite with their mouth may seem like a huge challenge at first. Patience and consistency are the keys. Some puppies may back off during one play session, and come at you teeth first in the next.

“Play biting does not mean your puppy is vicious,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC’s chief veterinary officer. “However, if you haven’t been able to moderate the behavior by the time they’re six months old, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced dog trainer or animal behavior specialist.”


Prevention and Treatment of Rattlesnake Bite in Dogs

Dogs are at risk for rattlesnake bites in fact, dogs are about 20 times more likely to be bitten by venomous snakes than people and are about 25 times more likely to die if bitten. Snake bites are life-threatening, extremely painful, expensive to treat, and can cause permanent damage even when the dogs survive. Dogs can encounter a rattlesnake anytime they are in rattlesnake habitat. You and your dog may live in rattlesnake habitat, or perhaps you travel through or frequently visit places where rattlesnakes are found. Maybe rattlesnakes are around when you take your dog hiking, camping or hunting. Like people, dogs may stumble over the location of a snake by accident. Curiosity or a protective instinct can place your dog at risk. When dogs encounter snakes during play or work in the snake’s natural habitat, most bites tend to occur on the face or extremities. The rattlesnake bite is generally “hemotoxic” which means that it exerts its toxin by disrupting the integrity of the blood vessels. The swelling is often dramatic with up to 1/3 of the total blood circulation being lost into the tissues in a matter of hours. The toxin further disrupts normal blood clotting mechanisms leading to uncontrolled bleeding. This kind of blood loss induces shock and finally death. Facial bites are often more lethal as the swelling may occlude the throat or impair ability to breathe. Less than a decade ago, a dog unfortunate enough to be bitten by a large Western Diamondback rattlesnake and injected with a full load of venom faced a grim fate, particularly if it was more than a couple of hours away from medical help. Since its availability in 2003, the Red Rock Biologics rattlesnake vaccine has helped provide the best protection against poisonous snakes and has become the standard of preventive veterinary care for dogs at high risk for rattlesnake bites.

The canine rattlesnake vaccine comprises venom components from Crotalus atrox (western diamondback). This vaccine is meant for use in healthy dogs to help decrease the severity of rattlesnake bites. The vaccine is produced from inactivated Crotalus atrox venom with an adjuvant and preservatives added. Dogs develop neutralizing antibody titers to C. atrox venom the vaccine is specifically for the toxin of the Western Diamondback rattlesnake and provides the best protection against the venom of that particular rattlesnake, however the vaccine has been shown to provide cross protection against the venom of other types of rattlesnakes and copperheads since the venom of pit vipers share some of the same toxic components. In fact, most of the 15 species of rattlesnakes in the United States have fairly similar venom. This is how one antivenin is able to cross-protect against so many rattlesnake species. The protection afforded by the vaccine depends on the similarity of snake venoms to the Western Diamondback.

The vaccine however does not provide protection against the Mojave rattlesnake, Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake, cottonmouths or coral snakes.

The vaccine works by stimulating the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against rattlesnake toxin. Initially, a dog should receive two subcutaneous doses about 30 days apart. It is best to give vaccination boosters about 30 days before beginning of exposure to rattlesnakes. Protection peaks about 30 to 45 days after boosters and lasts about six months. As the antibodies are short-lived and the vaccine typically only provides protection for six months, a booster shot is necessary either once a year one month before “snake season” or twice a year in areas where rattlesnakes are year-round risks. The protection level that a dog receives from the vaccine depends upon how well that individual dog produces these specific antibodies and may vary. Protective antibodies made by your dog in response to the vaccine start neutralizing venom immediately. On average, antibody levels in recently vaccinated dogs are comparable to treatment with three vials of antivenin. Almost no vaccine is effective 100% of the time. There are undoubtedly some dogs whose immune systems just won’t produce as many antibodies necessary for maximum protection but the partial protection they receive may still be enough to save their lives or help them recover more quickly. Therefore, this vaccine should not be used solely as a means of protection against rattlesnake bites. It is meant to provide some protection and to reduce the severity of the snakebite. Adverse events are reported in far less than one percent of all vaccinated dogs. Most of these side effects are mild and need no veterinary care. The most common side effect is the development of an injection site cellulitis these vaccine site reactions can be treated with hot, moist compresses, antibiotics, and pain relief medication if necessary. Systemic reactions (typically flu-like symptoms) are reported in fewer than one in 3,000 vaccinates and usually self-resolve in two to three days.

Even good antibody protection can be overcome in special snakebite circumstances. A vaccinated dog’s resistance to rattlesnake venom can be overcome with enough venom or special circumstances. But what are those circumstances? Special snakebite circumstances include smaller dogs, larger snakes, multiple snake bites to the same dog, and bites near vital organs. Smaller dogs are always going to have a harder time fighting off the same amount of venom as larger dogs. Larger snakes can produce and deliver larger doses of venom in a single bite. Multiple snake bites to the same dog can naturally deliver larger quantities of venom. Bites near vital organs allow the venom to start destroying those organs before the antibodies in the dog’s blood plasma have time to find and neutralize the harmful proteins in the rattlesnake venom. Other special circumstances may include some dogs whose immune systems just don’t produce enough antibodies, intravenous bites, and some snake species that the vaccine has little or no protection against.

The reported benefits of vaccination include a delay in onset of symptoms, fewer symptoms, less severe symptoms, a decrease in mortality rate, faster recovery times, and little or no tissue necrosis. In addition, most veterinarians also report less painful dogs, less lethargy, less swelling, that the swelling progression typically reversed within the first 1 to 2 hours, and that dogs had full recoveries in about 24 to 48 hours. As mentioned previously, according to Red Rock Biologics, the manufacturers of the rattlesnake vaccine, the antibody levels in recently vaccinated dogs are comparable to treatment with three vials of antivenin. So, although canines still need emergency veterinary treatment, they should experience less pain and a reduced risk of permanent injury from the rattlesnake bite. Snakebites are always an emergency. Even if your dog is vaccinated against rattlesnake venom, always get the pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible following any snakebite. Even non-venomous snake bites can lead to serious infections and antibiotic treatment may be needed. A veterinarian can determine what additional treatment is needed.

Since the most common mechanism of death from rattlesnake bite is circulatory collapse, intravenous fluid support, antibiotic therapy, cardiac and blood pressure monitoring, antihistamine administration and pain management are very important. Fluids may be started at a relatively slow rate if the patient is stable but should signs of impending trouble occur, circulatory volume replacement and treatment for shock is indicated. Blood transfusion may be necessary if life-threatening blood loss has occurred. A minimum of twenty four hours of post-bite observation and hospitalization is prudent. In addition, treatment of snakebite should include antivenin administration. There are numerous misconceptions about antivenin. The first is simply the name of the product. It is not “anti-venom.” It is not a single injection that provides the antidote to snake bite venom. Antivenin is a biological product consisting of antibodies made in response to exposure to four common Crotaline venoms. The antibody serum is reconstituted into an intravenous drip that is run into the patient over at least 30 minutes or so. Antivenin is expensive (at least $600-$800 per vial) and a large dog with a severe bite is likely to require several vials. Antivenin is very helpful in the inactivation of snake venom but there is a narrow window in which it must be used. After about 4 hours post-bite, antivenin is less effective in countering the effects of snake venom.

In summary, rattlesnake envenomation is a serious life-threatening injury and immediate veterinary care is warranted for the best success rates in surviving the ordeal. The benefits of prophylactic vaccination include more time to get to a veterinary hospital, the reduction in the amount of pain and swelling experienced, faster recovery times and a decrease in the mortality rate. It is not meant as a sole means of protection. Emergency treatment consisting of an intravenous fluid support, antibiotic administration, antihistamines, pain management and antivenin will result in the best chance of successfully surviving a rattlesnake bite.


What happens if a dog bite gets infected?

If a dog bite pierces a person’s skin, bacteria from the animal’s mouth can get into the body, which can cause an infection.

Washing the wound thoroughly can remove the bacteria from the body and help prevent infection. If the bacteria stay in the body, they can cause an infection, such as tetanus, rabies, or sepsis.

In some cases, an infection can spread to other parts of the body. People will need antibiotics or vaccinations to treat these types of infection.

Share on Pinterest An infected dog bite may cause pain for longer than 24 hours.

Symptoms of a dog bite infection can include:

  • swelling and redness around the wound
  • pain that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • drainage from the wound
  • difficulty moving the affected part of the body
  • a warm feeling around the wound

Signs that the infection may have spread to other parts of the body include:

  • fever
  • shaking
  • night sweats

To help prevent infection from a dog bite, people should wash the wound as soon as possible. People can treat minor wounds by:

  • washing the wound with soap and warm water, making sure to clean the area thoroughly
  • running the wound under lukewarm water to flush out bacteria
  • applying antibiotic cream to the wound and then wrapping a clean bandage around it

People should deal with deeper, more serious wounds by:

  • pressing a dry, clean cloth firmly against the wound to stop the bleeding
  • seeking medical attention straight away
  • calling 911 or getting emergency help if the bleeding is uncontrollable or the person feels faint

People may be able to use at-home treatments to prevent a dog bite from becoming infected. Cleaning minor wounds immediately is often sufficient. However, people should see a doctor for more serious wounds.

A doctor may use a syringe to apply water and a cleaning solution to the wound. Doing this helps flush out bacteria from the wound. The doctor may then prescribe antibiotics to fight off any bacteria that have entered the body and prevent infection.

A doctor will also be able to examine the wound to look for any damage to structures in the body, such as nerves or bones.

If the person has not had a tetanus vaccine in the last 5 years, they may need to have one to reduce the risk of tetanus.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, people with a dirty wound should have a booster tetanus vaccine if more than 5 years have passed since their last shot. For a clean wound, people should have a booster vaccine if it has been more than 10 years since their last shot.

In cases of severe or facial wounds, people may need stitches to close the wound. If the person does not know the dog’s history of rabies vaccination, they will need a postexposure rabies vaccine to protect them from the possibility of rabies.

Bites on the hands or feet carry a higher risk of infection. Certain infections from dog bites can be very serious and lead to complications. Without treatment, these infections can be fatal.

Capnocytophaga

If people have a Capnocytophaga infection from a dog bite, they may have the following symptoms:

  • blistering around the wound
  • redness, swelling, and pain around the wound
  • oozing from the wound
  • fever
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • headaches
  • joint pain

Symptoms can appear between 1 and 14 days after a dog bite. The following factors can increase a person’s risk of infection:

  • excessive alcohol use
  • not having a spleen
  • the presence of health conditions that affect the immune system
  • taking medications that can damage cells, such as chemotherapy

Without treatment, complications of Capnocytophaga infection can include:

  • kidney failure
  • heart attack
  • gangrene

A doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat a Capnocytophaga infection.

Sepsis

Untreated animal bites can sometimes lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a severe reaction to infection, and it can be life threatening. Signs of sepsis include:

  • high or low body temperature
  • confusion
  • extreme daytime sleepiness
  • severe pain or discomfort

If a person suspects that they have sepsis, they should seek immediate medical attention. A doctor will treat sepsis with antibiotics and intravenous fluids.

Rabies

People can get rabies if a dog that has rabies bites them. The first symptoms of rabies are:

  • a headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms
  • weakness
  • an itching or prickling feeling around the bite

Rabies is fatal if a person does not receive treatment. People should see their doctor straight away if they think that the dog that bit them might have rabies. Postexposure rabies vaccination can treat the infection.

Tetanus

A dog bite can cause tetanus bacteria to enter the body. Symptoms of tetanus include:

  • cramping in the jaw
  • muscle spasms, usually in the stomach
  • difficulty swallowing
  • muscle stiffness

Tetanus is a serious infection. People with any symptoms of tetanus need immediate medical attention. They will require medications, such as antibiotics, as well as a tetanus vaccine.

People should seek emergency medical attention for a dog bite if they have:

  • uncontrollable bleeding from the wound
  • a fever
  • a red, swollen, or painful wound
  • a wound that feels warm
  • a deep wound and have not had their tetanus shot within the last 5 years

If a person thinks that a dog bite has resulted in damage to the nerves or bones, they should seek emergency treatment. Emergency treatment is also necessary if an infection has spread to other parts of the body.

People should also seek medical attention if the dog that bit them was acting strangely, or they are unsure whether the dog has received a vaccine against rabies.

People may be able to avoid getting an infection from a dog bite if they wash the wound straight away. They can hold the wound under running water or use soap and water to wash it thoroughly before covering the wound with a bandage to keep it clean.

For deeper wounds, the person should see a doctor, who will wash out the wound with a saline solution and apply a dressing.

People should see their doctor straight away if they have any symptoms of infection around the wound, such as:

  • redness
  • worsening pain
  • warmth around the wound
  • swelling
  • oozing from the wound

If the person is at risk of developing an infection from a dog bite, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. In some cases, people may need a tetanus or rabies vaccine to prevent these types of infection.

Last medically reviewed on November 12, 2019


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