From 2013 to 2014, there were approximately 4,000 people hospitalized with dog-related injuries in Australia alone.
About 3,664 of these patients were bitten by a dog, while a dog struck 328. The typical ages were 0-9 years old, and 74% of them were injuries to the head.
How do you treat a dog bite on the face, and what happens when a dog bites you around your facial area? How long does the wound take to heal? What options do you have to deal with dog bite injuries on the face?
This article discusses important tips for treating dog bites on the face. It also explains what happens when a dog attacks you in that area and how long facial dog bite injuries heal.
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It is crucial to understand that a dog bite on the face is a real emergency because of the risk of bleeding and the blood supply to the face and scalp.
There are chances that swelling may occur when a dog bites you on the face, including swelling of the tongue that may disrupt your airway.
Before applying treatments to the wound, it is best that you first ensure that the dog is not a threat anymore. Then you have to know details such as vaccination history if you are the owner or you know the owner of the dog.
If a stray dog bites you, you may want to know the breed, the dog’s appearance, and the incident’s location. This information may help authorities catch the dog to make necessary tests to identify diseases. Medical attention is to follow once getting the crucial details.
First aid application after a dog bite depends on the severity of the wound. The risk of infection is less if the skin is not damaged.
If available, wash the bite area with soap and warm water before applying antibacterial cream.
If the dog bite has not caused severe damage to the skin, gently press the wound or the bite area to allow bleeding if possible. The exiting of the blood can force germs out of the wound.
If the bleeding is continuously bleeding, place a clean cloth on the bite area with pressure to stop or slow down the blood flow. Once the bleeding slows down, you may apply antibacterial cream with a sterile bandage.
If the bleeding continues with the bandage and pads, change the bandage with a new one. Do not check if the bleeding continues or has stopped because you may take out the pressure on the wound, and the bleeding may start again if it ever stopped in the first place.
All dog bites should be under observation for infections. Although you generally will not need antibiotics to prevent infection, you may still want to visit your doctor in some cases of wounds.
Such wounds include a deep puncture wound, a bite close to a joint or bone, healing problems, a face bite or genital area, or issues with your immune system. In these cases, your physician may ask you to take antibiotics to prevent infection.
It is best that once you get bitten by a dog on the face, you immediately seek medical attention, including a rabies vaccination shot. You may not want to wait before the symptoms kick in because it results in fatality for most people who experience symptoms of rabies.
Get medical attention urgently because you must get your rabies vaccination as soon as possible.
A dog bite can be a traumatic episode for someone who gets bitten on the face. Scarring can occur psychologically and physically with disfigurement.
Dog bites usually leave permanent scars and disfigurement, especially on the face. Severe dog bites may cause lacerations, avulsions, and puncture wounds.
Stitches may be necessary in some cases, even skin grafts and plastic surgeries, to reduce the level of scarring and disfigurement from the dog-attack wound.
There may be physically unnoticeable wounds when a dog attacks or bites you. Psychological effects may also occur to victims who got bitten by a dog. These psychological effects are how you think, feel, and interact with others.
Psychological effects include fear of animals, especially dogs. You may also have nightmares, which may involve a dog attack or not.
Change in appetite may also occur and may lead to weight loss. Speech defects may also happen, such as stuttering.
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