Cases of stray dog bites, reporting from various districts, have been high, off late. Thiruvananthapuram has seen an alarming rise in such cases, which sometimes turn fatal as well. More than 50 cases of stray dog bites, including babies and toddlers have been reported until July alone. People complain that they live in the constant fear of getting attacked by stray dogs on the streets or even in their own front yards. Therefore, it is important to know about the first aid, preventive measures and the medical assistance in case of rabies infection.
Wash the wound under running water
The first thing to do if bitten by a dog is to wash the wound under running tap water for at least 15 minutes. Use soap, not necessarily an anti bacterial one, to clean it. You should clean the wound like this even if the dog has only scratched you. The bacteria would be washed out by cleaning the wound well.
After washing the wound, the person who has been bitten should be immediately taken to the hospital. Seeking medical assistance is important even if it is a small bite mark. Washing and cleaning the wound, however, is not an alternative for medical assistance.
No need for dressing
There is no need to cover the wound using a bandage. The bleeding would stop within just 5 minutes and you could reach the hospital with an open wound. However, the bleeding may last for more duration in some persons. In such cases, the wound should be pressed using a piece of clean cloth.
Make sure that the person who had been bitten receives all the required vaccines as it is the most effective way to prevent rabies.
There is no need to take vaccines if the dog has only touched or licked you without making a wound. However, if the dog has scratched over the skin or bitten hard, then medical assistance should be sought. In case the dog bites quite hard, piercing the skin (especially on the face which is closer to the brain) or has licked on an already existing would, it is advisable to get the preventive vaccines as soon as possible. Besides, anti rabies immunoglobuline too should be administered.
Stray dog bite
In case a stray dog has bitten you, the entire dose of vaccines should be taken, irrespective of whether the dog has rabies or not. The dosage of this vaccine is the same for all ages. Do not hesitate to take the vaccine even if the person is pregnant. Kids must be given special care and make sure that they are vaccinated. Seek a doctor’s help if they run a fever or the wound doesn’t heal.