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Dog and Cat Bites

dog cat  bite

Clean the wound

You should clean the wound no matter how small the cut to the skin. There are many bacteria in animal mouths. Cleaning will reduce the chance of infection. Just use ordinary tap water. If the wound is bleeding heavily, use a clean pad, or preferably a sterile dressing, to apply pressure until you can get medical treatment. Wounds that are large, deep, punctured or dirty are best cleaned and assessed by a doctor.

After cleaning, cover the wound with a sterile, non-sticky dressing.

Usually the doctor does not stitch or close up a dog or cat wound immediately. This is to make sure the wound is not infected before closing it up. A wound that becomes infected, which has been stitched or closed up, can cause serious complications.

Antibiotics

A short course of antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection developing in wounds which are large, deep, or punctured.

Tetanus

If you are not up to date with your tetanus shots, you may need a booster dose.

Rabies

This is a serious illness passed to humans from some animal bites. Animal bites (particularly dog bites) have a risk of rabies. Rabies is 100% fatal, there is no known cure. Contact your doctor immediately for a full course of anti-rabies immunization and if possible keep the suspect animal under close observation.

What to look out for after a dog or cat bite

See a doctor as soon as possible if the skin surrounding a wound becomes more tender, painful, swollen, or inflamed over the next few days and if you become generally unwell with fever shivers, or other worrying symptoms within a week or so after a dog or cat bite.


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