What to do after dog bite

With the increase in number of street dogs, the dog-bite cases have been increasing rapidly all over India. In case of dog-bite, the person must not panick. He/She should wash the area with water and soap and take anti-rabies injection timely. This article discusses the issue in details. Read on

Since the dawn of civilization, dog is the constant companion of human being. Dogs are the most loyal friends of the human. Throughout the world, dogs are kept as pets. In India, we see street dogs everywhere. People of almost every locality generally feed the street dogs. However, we cannot trust animal instinct. We do not know the nature of the dogs. Some dogs may bite without any apparent reason. So, in case of dog bites we have to take immediate action because all of us know that dog bites may cause rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease and it is incurable. If a person gets infected by the rabies virus, there is no treatment for it. The only remedy of arabies is to immediately get anti-rabies injection once a person is bitten by a dog (or by a cat or monkey).

First thing to do after dog bite

In every single day, there are thousands of cases of dog bites, cat bites or monkey bites all over the country. Dog bite is just like an accident because nobody knows when a dog may bite. So, the first thing is not to panic and keep calm. The first thing a person who is bitten by a dog must do is to wash the affected area or the wound with free-flowing water and soap for at least 10-15 minutes. This will help in removing 70% of the rabies virus from the open wound, reducing the probability of getting infected with rabies.

Second step is anti-rabies injection

A person bitten by a dog must take anti-rabies injection as early as possible and latest within 24 hours of the bite. It must be noted that the anti-rabies vaccine is absolutely free in Indian gGovernment hospitals. However, if a person wants, he/she can get the injections from private clinic or private hospital. In earlier days, there were nerve tissue vaccinations for dog bites. In those days, a patient had to take fourteen injections in the stomach. Those vaccinations were very painful. But nowadays, generally there are ony five vaccinations which are given in the arm of the patient. In some cases there are only three injections or even one injection. In case of five injections, the vaccination schedule to be followed is 0-3-7-14-28 days. This means that the first vaccine has to be given on the day of dog bite. The second vaccine is required to be given on the third day, and third one on the seventh day, fourth one on the fourteenth day and the last one on the twenty-eighth day. It must be mentioned that when the physician prescribes five injections, the patient must take all five shots to be fully protected from rabies. At the same time, a patient must remember to get tetanus injection along with all the five shots of rabies.

Medication other than vaccination

After the dog bite, the type of medication depends on the kind of wounds and the risk of rabies infection. Even if the wound is very deep, no stitches are used. The physician generally prescribes some ointment to be applied on the wound. This is because stitches can help the rabies virus to stay in the wound and spread the infection.

General precaution to save oneself from dog bite

It is not possible to anticipate the behavioral pattern of a street dog. It can bite a person out of fright. So, a street dog must not be teased. We should not look into the eyes of the dog. This may make it feel that the person is going to attack it. So, we must avoid making an eye contact with the dog, especially when it is barking . The most important thing is not to run in front of a barking dog. If a dog starts barking, then we should try to move away slowly from it.

Concluding comments

In case of a dog bite, the most important need is to take anti-rabies injections on time. So, a person who is bitten by a dog must clean the affected area thoroughly and then immediately visit the physician. Medicines advised by the quacks must be avoided.

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Author: Anauj01 Oct 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

It is important to go to a medical centre that has a cell dedicated to tackle such emergencies. The reason being that anti-rabies vaccine is supposed to be stored at a certain temperature, under refrigeration. If the facility does not have a refrigerator then the vaccine would be contaminated.

As an alternative, one can buy the vaccine from a reputed pharmacy and have a medical practitioner administer it.

Dog attacks can happen to anyone, but are said to be more common during summer months, as per studies.

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