How can doctors treat animal bites?
Animal bites can happen to anyone. Bites may occur with familiar animals, family pets or stranger animals at a campsite or hiking trails. According to Healthline, most people suffer animal bites because of a family pet.
While some animal bites may result in mild injuries, others result in severe complications.
When does an animal bite require medical attention?
Serious animal bites include any bite with localized redness, pus, warmth or red streaks. An infection may also manifest with a fever or pain. If you require stitches, have any foreign objects in the wound or suspect nerve or blood vessel damage, you need to see a medical professional. Animal bites do pose a risk for infection.
How can a doctor treat an animal bite?
At the first appointment, the doctor will inspect the site. He or she has to check for any debris within the wound itself. Following the exam, physicians may order an x-ray. Dogs, in particular, have massive bite pressure and can damage nerves and bone. Likewise, the x-ray may show any foreign materials within the wound.
Next is the irrigation process. Without adequate irrigation, the wound may become infected. If you have any tears in the skin that the doctor cannot repair, he or she may need to remove the dead or infected tissue.
Your wound care depends on the type of injury. Puncture wounds do not require stitches, but you need to keep the sutures clean and dry if you do have stitches. Unsutured wounds may require other forms of care.
Following an animal bite, you may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection.