According to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. About 900,000 of those bites become infected. Victims of dog bites frequently know the dog that attacked them. The head and neck are the most common site of bites in children up to age 10 years. This is probably because a child’s head is close to the level of a large dog’s mouth. The arms and legs, particularly the right hand, are the most frequent site of injury for older children and adults. A dog bite can lead to a range of injuries, including scratches, deep open cuts, puncture wounds, crush injuries, and tearing away of a body part. Dog bites rarely cause death. However, it is important to get help at urgent care for dog bites.
After being bitten by any animal, it is important to quickly and carefully clean the wound thoroughly with soap and a large amount of water; this can help to prevent infection. If there is bleeding, a clean towel or gauze should be pressed to the wound to slow or stop the bleeding.
Do I need treatment for dog bites?
Adults or children who have been bitten by a dog should see a healthcare provider if:
●An animal bite has broken through the skin and bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for 15 minutes
●A bone may be broken, or if there is other serious injury
●A bite victim has diabetes, liver disease, cancer, HIV-infection, or takes a medication that could weaken the immune system
It is best to see a doctor as soon as possible after a dog bite. This can help reduce the chance of developing an infection. The most common complication of a dog bite is infection. Antibiotics can help prevent infection in people with high-risk wounds, facial wounds, wounds involving a bone or joint, and for people with other health problems, such as a weak immune system or diabetes, which could increase the risk of serious infection.
Tetanus is a serious, potentially life-threatening infection that can be transmitted by an animal or human bite. Consequently, if you are not up-to-date with your tetanus vaccine, you will need a booster.
If a dog bit you, and it could potentially have rabies, you MUST seek medical attention to determine if you need a series of injections to prevent rabies.
Remember: Rabies is almost always fatal. Therefore, it is important to go urgent care for any dog bite.
Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to see a provider. You can call ahead at (917) 310-3371 and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.