Childr Health Information

Dog bites

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Topic: General Child Health

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about dog bites. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any instructions you do not understand.

As with any wound, preventing infection is important.
1. Depending on the location of the wound and the doctor’s advice, the wound may or may not be covered with a dressing.
2. If the wound needs a dressing, put a new clean dry dressing over the wound daily until the wound is healed.
3. Keep the wound and/or dressing as dry as possible. Water helps bacteria (germs) grow and can lead to an infection. If the dressing becomes wet or dirty, replace it with a clean dry dressing immediately.
4. Remove the dressing at least daily and check for signs of infection such as:
a. swelling
b. excessive redness
c. pain
d. heat at the site of the dog bite
e. drainage from the wound
f. inability to move the joint above or below the wound
g. fever (temperature over 101°F)
h. If you notice any of these signs, contact your doctor immediately. If you are unable to reach the doctor, return to the emergency department.
5. If sutures (stitches) were necessary, call your doctor as soon as possible to schedule them to be taken out at the time recommended on the discharge instructions.
6. If the doctor has given your child a prescription, go to a pharmacy and have it filled right away. Have your child take the medication as directed.

Anti-rabies vaccine (shots) are rarely needed after a dog bite. Notify your local police department about the incident. If the dog is not known to you, try to find the dog. It is best to restrain the dog for 10 days and watch it for illness. This is done when it cannot be verified that the dog’s shots are up-to-date. Your local health department can assist you with this process.



Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2005
Revisado: 2002

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2005
Reviewed: 2002


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