How to treat a dog bite

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Dog Attacks |

Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites. According to studies, around 800,000 of those injuries result in the victim seeking professional medical attention. There are some steps that North Carolina residents can take following a dog bite to treat the injury.

Safety first

Perhaps the most important aspect of treating a dog bite is to make sure that the victim is securely away from the dog. If the dog bite takes place in the yard, move the injured party into the house if possible. If a dog bite takes place in the home, go to a room away from the animal, and shut the door.

Stop the bleeding

Ideally, the victim of the dog bite can hold pressure on the wound while you secure the area. Find a clean towel or another piece of clean cloth to apply pressure to the bite. The only time to use a tourniquet following dog attacks is if you cannot get the bleeding to stop by applying pressure.

Cleaning the wound

Once you have managed to stop the bleeding, you can begin the process of cleaning the wound and the area around it. Experts recommend that you use antibacterial soap and warm water to clean the area. Be sure to rinse all the soap away to avoid irritation.

Dressing the wound

Many people choose to put antibacterial ointment on a dog bite before covering it, but experts say that doing so isn’t necessary. Instead, make sure the area around the wound is completely dry after washing it. Then, apply a dry, clean dressing to the area.

Dog bites are traumatic events for the victim and anyone who sees the incident take place. Fortunately, less than 20% of these dog attacks require professional medical attention. However, if you can see layers of skin and tissue inside the wound, if there is tearing or if the bleeding is excessive, call emergency medical services right away.