Dog Bite Treatment: First Aid for Dog, Cat and Other Animal Bites

First Aid Treatment For Animal Bites


The most common causes of animal bites would be dogs and cats because of their frequent contact with humans. Other animals like raccoons, bats, rats, skunks also pose animal bite threats, and in fact they are more likely to transmit rabies and other viruses than pets. Unlike other wounds, we don’t only watch out for infection but for rabies (a viral infection carried in the saliva of animals) as well. To avoid such risks, we should know about proper dog bite treatment and rabies prevention.

Dog Bite Treatment

Keep the dog (and other animals) in custody
The animal needs to be observed in the next 15 days for the development of rabies. If the animal is wild or stray, don’t attempt to catch or trap the animal and contact animal control.

Assess the Bite
Check if the bite has a large and deep puncture wound or if it’s located on a sensitive body part like the neck, face, and hand. If this is the case, seek medical attention. It’s also necessary to let the doctor assess if you need anti-rabies treatment especially if you don’t know the animal’s immunization history.

Apply Proper Wound Care for Minor Bites
Treat the bite as you would treat wounds. Make sure to wash the wound with soap and running water for at least 5 minutes and apply povidone-iodine (eg. betadine).

See these wound care articles:
Wound Care: Puncture Wounds First Aid
Wound Care: First Aid for Cuts (Lacerations)
Wound Care: Skin Abrasion Treatment

Rabies Symptoms

Victims affected with rabies may develop any of these symptoms:

  • Muscle spasms and Seizures
  • Paralysis and Problems moving Facial Muscles
  • Signs of Irritability
  • Confusion, Hallucination and Double Vision
  • Feels Agitated
  • Signs of Aggressiveness
  • Sensitivity of the 5 senses
  • Increased Production of Saliva (may cause mouth foaming) or tears
  • Difficulty in Speaking

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