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I Got Bit By a Dog — What Should I Do Now?

Ignoring an animal bite can have serious consequences. It increases the risk of infection and potentially lasting health issues. Seek medical attention for any animal bite or injury as soon as possible. 

At Houston Medical ER in Houston and Spring, Texas, we make sure you get the proper treatment and care to reduce any potential risks.

Our physicians are ready to help with specialized treatments for animal bites to help you heal quickly and reduce your risk of infection. Read more about what to do if you get bitten by a dog.

Preventing dog bites

We love our furry friends, but sometimes a pet can bite. Every year in the United States, 4.7 million people experience a dog bite, with half of those cases involving children ages 5-9. One out of every five bites requires medical attention. 

Here are some simple steps you can take to help prevent dog bites. 

  • Never approach an unknown dog
  • Let a new furry friend approach you first
  • Always ask an owner’s permission to pet a dog
  • Approach a new pet friend cautiously and slowly 

Teaching children how to interact safely with animals is also important. Make sure they never kick, shove, poke, or hit a dog, and never try to take away the dog’s food or toys. Supervise young children around animals. 

If you see an animal acting aggressively, just back away slowly, don’t keep eye contact with the animal, and call the appropriate authorities for help.

How serious is a dog bite?

Dog bites can cause severe damage, with their front teeth grabbing onto and compressing tissue, while smaller teeth can tear the skin, leaving an open wound. 

Infections are the primary worry in these cases, potentially leading to hospitalization and even IV antibiotics. 

Regardless of the circumstances, visit us at Houston Medical ER within eight hours of being bitten. If you wait longer, you increase your risk of infection. If you have diabetes or are immunocompromised, you have a greater risk of infection, so be especially careful.

What to do after a dog bites you

Take action quickly if a dog bites you or any human. Stop the bleeding and clean the wound with warm water and soap. Apply pressure to control bleeding and protect the wound site with a sterile bandage or clean towel. Seek medical attention immediately.

Certain medical treatments and antibiotics may be necessary to prevent infection and reduce the likelihood of further complications. Follow up with a doctor even if the wound appears minor. You may have other underlying issues.

Dog bite risks

The risk of contracting an infection from a dog bite is real. Dog bites can lead to infection if bacteria enters the wound. This can cause swelling, redness, warmth, and drainage of pus. 

Seek medical attention immediately to reduce the risk of infection and keep the wound clean and covered until it’s fully healed. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent further complications. 

If you leave an infection untreated, it could lead to serious health issues such as blood poisoning or sepsis.

Emergency care for a dog bite

At Houston Medical ER, we provide top-notch care for all of our patients. Our dedicated, highly trained team of medical professionals is here to ensure you receive the highest quality care, no matter what emergency you may face. 

We provide advanced diagnostic and treatment services in a comforting and compassionate environment. If you or your children have experienced a dog bite, get the care you need right away. Visit our urgent care facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For any medical procedure, patients respond to treatment differently, hence each patient's results may vary.
**In case of a life threatening emergency, immediately call 911.
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