28 May 2022

The treatment of dog bites and cat scratches

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Assuring your child that you can help them when they have been bitten or scratched by an animal. The treatment for an animal bite will be determined by your child's healthcare provider. Some treatment options are as follows:

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The following steps should be followed for shallow bites from a healthy and immunized household pet:

  • Make sure that the wound gets at least five minutes of washing with soap and water. Make sure not to scrub as this will cause the tissue to bruise. If necessary, put on some antiseptic lotion or cream.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of infection. A fever, swelling, blood leaking from the bite, and red streaks from the bite can all occur as a result of the bite. In case of any of these symptoms, call your child's healthcare provider immediately.
  • Use a clean bandage, cloth, or towel to stop the bleeding if the bite or scratch is bleeding. Your healthcare provider should be contacted if bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes of pressure.
  • Make sure to wash the wound under a faucet for at least five minutes with soap and water. Avoid scrubbing the wound to avoid bruising it.
  • Make sure it is dry and cover it with sterile dressing. Make sure tape or butterfly bandages are not used on the wound. If they are, dangerous bacteria can accumulate there.
  • Please contact your child's healthcare provider for help in reporting the attack and to determine if additional treatment is necessary. Depending on the severity of the wound, antibiotics, tetanus boosters, rabies vaccines, or stitches may be needed. If a bite causes deeper skin puncture wounds or bites that cause wounds on the face, this is very important. Whenever your child is bitten by a cat, please let his or her healthcare provider know. It is known that these injuries may cause infection.
  • If possible, locate the animal responsible for the wound. It is necessary to capture, confine, and closely monitor some animals for rabies. Do not attempt to capture the animal yourself. You should instead contact your local animal control office or animal warden.
  • Depending on whether the animal can be found, is a high-risk species (raccoon, skunk, bat), or the animal attack was unprovoked, your child may require rabies shots.
  • If your child experiences flu-like symptoms following an animal bite, contact your child's healthcare provider. Fever, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swelling of the glands are some of the symptoms associated with a cold.

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