Dog bites are particularly dangerous for children, who are more likely to be bitten than adults or the elderly. They’re smaller in stature and may not know how to approach a dog carefully or when to back away, so children are much more likely to put themselves in danger.
Since children are fairly short, it is more likely that a dog will bite them on their faces. This can be extremely damaging to the child, resulting in disfigurement, possible blindness, and other serious complications.
What Happens When a Dog Attacks?
When a dog attacks, it usually starts with a warning. This might be a short nip or gentle bite. This is when you want to do what you can to separate yourself from the animal because the next phase of an attack is more serious. A dog that is intending to harm you or a child will bite and hold its victim in its teeth. Then, it may shake its head, which causes uneven lacerations and acute damage through several layers of tissues.
What Should You Do After a Dog Bite Occurs?
If the bite is serious, call 911. If it’s minor, you can call your physician or go to the hospital.
When a bite takes place, a few things have to happen. It has to be cleaned by a medical professional, since saliva and residue may be deep in the tissues. If not removed, these foreign substances could lead to an infection.
It’s normal to have to take antibiotics for a time following a bite. If the animal’s vaccine records are not available, then it is likely that you may need to have tetanus and rabies treatments to prevent potentially fatal illnesses. If the animal is available, it can often be monitored for these conditions ahead of the treatment, but if not, it’s better to err on the side of safety.
Not all bite wounds are closed, so don’t necessarily expect them to be stitched. Stitches seal a wound, which can allow bacteria that has been left behind to grow and multiply. Deep wounds will likely be cleaned and stitched, but less severe wounds may be left open to receive oxygen. Usually, wounds treated in a medical facility are closed with stitches or skin adhesives, so that bacteria is kept out after the surgery to clean the wound.