Knowing What to Do When a Dog Bites
Even the most mild-mannered dog may bite when feeling frightened, confused, or hurt. Dog bites can cause harm in many ways, from injuring tissue and bone to putting you at risk for illness or infection. Following a dog bite, administering first aid and seeking urgent wound care will ensure that any injuries are handled properly for a faster recovery and improved wellness.
Wash and Cover Minor Bites
If you have been bitten by a dog and the wound is minor, the first step you should take is to wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water. This will minimize your risk for infection by eliminating bacteria from the dog’s saliva. After washing, apply an antibiotic cream to the bite and cover it with a clean bandage. In the following days, monitor the bite for signs of a bite infection, such as redness, swelling, or pain. If you spot any of these symptoms or develop a fever, visit an urgent care center for help.
Seek Treatment for Serious Bites
Serious dog bites are often accompanied by bleeding. Apply pressure with a clean cloth to any wounds to stop the bleeding and visit an urgent care center in San Jose promptly for an evaluation. If you cannot stop the bleeding or feel faint, dizzy, or weak, call 911 for emergency medical help at your location, rather than trying to get to an emergency care center on your own. If possible, get the owner’s information and the dog’s medical history to determine whether additional medication or treatment is needed to prevent serious disease.
The Regional Medical Center of San Jose has the resources and trained staff to handle dog bites and other types of traumatic injuries in our 43-bed emergency care center. We invite you to find out more about how to handle injuries and illnesses by clicking through our comprehensive online health library; you can also discuss your health with a nurse or request a referral by calling (888) 762-8881.