Dogs are often called as man’s best friend. They are one of the most common household pets
all over the world. Numerous movies and television shows have been dedicated to these canines. In a survey done by The Human Society of the United States last 2011-2012, there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs. Thirty-nine percent of US households own at least one dog, wherein 60% of these individuals own at least one dog.
Although most dogs are considerably harmless, dogs can bite when they feel that their territory is threatened. Dogs are very protective of their resting place, food, water, puppies, possessions, and even their own owners. Moreover, when they are provoked or surprised, there is a tendency to bite.
Animal bites are highly susceptible to infection, nonetheless, proper first aid brought about by first aid training, can help decrease the probabilities of acquiring an infection. Moreover, proper first aid may avoid scarring which usually occurs as a result of the tissue damage and infection.
There are two types of wounds brought about by dog bites. The first type is called a puncture wound. Evidently, from its name, it can be concluded that there is penetration of the teeth onto the skin. These types of wounds are high susceptible to infection because of the presence of bacteria in the teeth of the canine. Furthermore, puncture wounds are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria as it is warm, dark and with minimal air flow. To complicate the probability for infection, swelling can lead to closing the wound, hence it will be harder to clean and disinfect the injury. Thus it is necessary to clean the wound immediately.
The second, and more dangerous type of dog bite wound is a laceration. Aside from the penetration of the teeth of the dog, there is a tearing of the skin. This type of dog bite often requires stitches and more often leaves a scar.
Aside from injury and septic wounds, dog bites may transmit rabies virus to the bitten victim. Rabies affects the central nervous system of the body infecting the brain which may lead to death. The closer the bite is to the brain, the more fatal it is. Generally, children are more prone to fatalities due to their tiny size.
If the wound is minor and barely breaks the skin with no signs of rabies, wash the wound thoroughly with water and soap. To prevent infection, add antibiotic cream or an antiseptic solution. For deep punctures or lacerations, characterized by badly torn skin and bleeding, apply direct pressure using a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding. If there is excessive bleeding, raise the injured area above the heart. If an infection is suspected, seek medical help immediately. Infection signs include redness, swelling, and increased pain and oozing. Meanwhile, if rabies is suspected, seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.
The instructions mentioned above does not suffice for first aid training which teaches proper management and treatment for different kinds of infections and complications.