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Dog Bite – First Aid, Infections, Treatment & Rabies

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Dog bites can cause injury and pain, but can also spread germs that cause infection. Majority of dog bites do not cause infection but some dog bites need medical attention. In this article let us learn about dog bite infection, prevention and treatment.

Dog Bite Infographic

Dog Bite Infographics

Dog Bite Infections

  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus
  • MRSA
  • Pasteurella
  • Bergeyella zoohelcum
  • Puncture Wounds

Watch out for these signs in the place of bite –

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Swelling
  • Fluid or drainage of pus

First Aid After Dog Bite

If your dog bites you or any other fellow human, do not fail to follow the first aid process which is suitable for both human and animal.

First, wash the bite area with soap and water.

If it is bleeding, then put pressure on that area with a clean cloth.

After the bleeding stops apply antibiotic ointment.

Cover it with sterile gauze or bandage.

Call and visit your doctor immediately.

Your doctor may prescribe ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.

Get anti-rabies injection as per doctors advice.

Dog Bites By Level

Level 1 Bite: Aggressive behavior by the dog, not a bite, (i.e.) the dog tries to scare a human or other dog so, they will go away.

Level 2 Bite: No skin puncture by skin contact by teeth. This dog is more aggressive and it wants you to go away from that place.

Level 3 Bite: In a single bite one to four tooth punctures but half the length of the canine teeth.

Level 4 Bite: In a single bite one to four punctures, at least one puncture deeper than half length of canine teeth.

Level 5 Bite: Multiple attacks or multiple bites are not safe for people or other animals.

Level 6 Bite: The victim human or animal is killed. Fortunately, this is rare.

Dog Bite Wound Healing Time

The healing time of a dog bite depends on the following facts:

  • Depth of the bite.
  • Where the bite is.
  • Concurrent diseases like jaundice, diabetes.
  • Secondary infection.
  • Minor Wounds will heal within a week.
  • A minor wound not treated well will slow the healing time and increase the risk of infection.
  • If there is no damage to the skin, then the healing time is faster.
  • If the wound is severe, then it takes a long healing time.

What should you do if your dog bites a fellow human?

If your dog bites you or any other human, do not fail to follow the first aid process which is suitable for both humans and animals.

Is There Any Food Restriction After The Dog Bite?

There is no restriction on food. You can consume whatever you normally eat before.

Prevention From Dog Bite

  • While choosing a dog as a family pet, pick a dog with a good temperament.
  • Stay away from unknown dogs.
  • Don’t play with a dog that is feeding her puppies, eating, or sleeping.
  • Early socialization training of canines may help to lessen the risk of dog bites.
  • Never leave your children alone with any dog (especially with unknown dogs).
  • If a dog becomes aggressive, don’t try to scream or run. Be calm, don’t make eye contact with a dog, and move away slowly.

Rabies Treatment In Humans

Rabies is a viral illness caused due to a dog bite. This infection leads to encephalomyelitis which is an inflammation of the spinal cord and brain. This virus gets reproduced in the brain and will lead to the violent behavior of the dog.

Rabies affected dog transmits the disease to humans through saliva. There are two types of rabies infection.

  • Paralytic rabies
  • Furious rabies

Rabies Symptoms

  • Feeling of nausea
  • Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
  • Severe fever
  • Hallucination
  • Swelling of the spinal cord and the brain
  • A frequent headache
  • Feeling of anxiety
  • Problem during swallowing

Prevention Of Rabies For Dogs

As with the popular saying, prevention is better than cure. The following measures can help to reduce infection of rabies.

  • Inject rabies vaccination to prevent infection.
  • Vaccinate your pets against disease.
  • Maintain good hygiene.
  • Make sure that your pets are away from wild animals and other stray dogs.

What To Do If Your Dog Bites Birds?

Handle the bird calmly to avoid its stress. Keep the bird warm and quite. Apply pressure with a gauze, if it’s bleeding, but don’t restrict breathing. If the wing is broken, then wrap the wings loosely with gauze to the body and tape it to prevent further injury.

Do not tape tightly because it can’t breathe peacefully. If other bones are broken don’t try to treat at home. Consult your vet immediately.

Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

What To Do If Your Dog Bites Another Animal?

In some situation, your dog might bite another animal. Here is some advice to handle this situation as an owner.


  • Remain calm
  • Check the wounds and perform triage
  • Do something to stop the fight immediately
  • Make sure that another animal is vaccinated with rabies vaccine
  • Anti-rabies vaccine is recommended on 0, 7, 21 and 28th days of a dog bite (four to five dose depends on the vaccine).


  • Don’t avoid medical work, even your dog doesn’t appear to be hurt
  • Don’t put your hand in between fight

Most Common Cause Of Infected Dog Bite

  • Streptococci And SAureus
  • Erysipelothrix Rhusiopathiae
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus
  • Pasteurella Canis
  • Eikenella corrodens

Antibiotics For Infected Dog Bites

  • Aztreonam, Vancomycin, Clindamycin
  • Meropenem
  • Oral Amoxicillin And Clavulanate
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole and Clindamycin
  • Levofloxacin And Clindamycin

Bats Vs. Dogs – Who Is The Major Cause For Rabies Casualties?

Bats beat out canines as the major cause of rabies casualties in America. Outside contact with rabies-infected pets is the number two cause.

In America, the understanding of rabies transmission has undergone a sea change over the last eight decades or so.

As per reports, rabies victims linked to dog scratches or bites have significantly dropped. The wild animals are the real threatening force when it comes to rabies.

According to the CDC, bats cause close to 60 percent of deaths linked to rabies.

A few years ago, the CDC discovered that bats were overtaking raccoons in animals, mostly testing positive for this deadly virus. The center also witnessed an upward trend in the number of bat exposures.  Around 10 people were exposed or came into contact with a rabid bat.

This happens when bats live in campgrounds, dorms, or homes.

Outside contact with rabies-infected dogs is causing the second most number of rabid deaths in the United States of America. Most people believe that infected canines act violently, barking or lurking, and trying to bite people.

There is a real possibility that infected canines can still remain calm and bite people.

Rabies is not detectable with the naked eyes.

People should remain at the same distance from bats. A rabid bat may not flee or fly away from humans. And that’s a good sign to remain alert.

Experts say, “A healthy bat will seldom permit you to come together.”

Rabid cases in America saw a steep fall following a public outcry to vaccinate canines starting in the late 50s.

This virus is still active in the forest, infecting foxes, skunks, raccoons, and coyotes.

The new program focuses on raccoons and foxes.

Rabies Virus In Bats

Most bats will not carry rabies. Just looking at them, you can’t tell whether bats have rabies or not.

They can be tested only in a lab.

Teach small kids to never touch or go near unfamiliar domestic, or wild animals. Wash any wound with clean running water and seek medical help at the earliest.

Stop bats from entering human-inhabited places such as churches, garages, playgrounds, or any place where people gather.

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