Quick tips on dealing with dog bites.

A dog bite can cause rabies apart from a local wound. Rabies is a fatal infection and can be prevented only by timely medical intervention (vaccination). No definite cure is available, if a human being is infected.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) divides contact with suspected rabid animals into three categories:

Category I: touching/feeding animals, licks on intact skin.

Category II: nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding.

Category III: single or multiple bites or scratches, licks on broken skin. Category II & III exposures require medical intervention.

Do’s

Wash the bite thoroughly

with soap and warm water.

Pat dry with clean gauze swabs and cover with a sterile dressing.

Control bleeding by applying direct pressure.

See a doctor for anti-rabbies vaccination.

Don’ts

Do not delay treatment.

Extract from Medical Emergency Handbook, VIVO Healthcare, Rs.199. To buy the book, contact VIVO Healthcare, DLF City Club, DLF City Phase 4, Gurgaon 122009. Ph: +91-124-4365848 +91-8860004734. E-mail: enquiry@vivohealthcare.com or info@vivohealthcare.com

The eleventh part in the series on handling common medical emergencies.