What To Do After a Dog Bite? Here’s What Experts Suggest

Dog bites can severely affect your health if left untreated. It can lead to rabies, brain inflammation, endocarditis, heart infection and tetanus infections. According to a study by the World Health Organization, about 30 to 60 per cent of reported rabies cases and deaths occur in children under the age of 15 years in India, and they often go unrecognised and unreported.

Around 18,000 to 20,000 people die every year because of dog bites, according to WHO estimates. Hence, it is important to know what one should do if a dog bites you or anyone around you.

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Rabies is one of the most common diseases that a person can get after being bitten by a dog. If you are an animal lover or have pet animals at home, then an injection of rabies is crucial for you. The government and various NGOs regularly come up with initiatives where stray dogs can be spayed, sterilised, and vaccinated against rabies.

These are some steps that you can undertake to not fall prey to a health condition after a dog bite. But, what should you immediately need to do after getting bitten by a dog?

According to Dr Akhiyar Khan, from Max Vets Hospital, Delhi, one must first wash the area with water thoroughly. Some clinical soaps or liquids can also be used to wash the area. After washing, some pain relief ointment should be applied to the wounded area. This will minimise the effect of the rabies virus. One should then consult a doctor as soon as possible to get the rabies and tetanus injections. Usually, the doctors inject 5 rabies injections and 2 tetanus vaccines.

After taking an injection of rabies, a person might suffer from dizziness, fever and body pain, but there is nothing to panic about it, according to Dr Khan. In case the person has already taken the anti-rabies vaccine, then the doctor will undertake a different treatment. The doctor will inject two vaccines in such cases. To treat a dog bite, injections of rabies and tetanus are the most viable solutions.

An individual must take the first dose of the rabies injection within 24 hours from the dog bite. Upon failing to do so, they may observe blisters, swelling, redness, vomiting, diarrhoea, and headache and muscle pain.

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