What if a dog bite doesn’t break the skin? Surprising Answer

7 steps to treating a dog bite

If a dogbites you, take these steps right away:

  • Wash the wound. Use mild soap, and run warm tap water over it for five to 10 minutes.
  • Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth.
  • Apply over-the counter antibiotic cream if you have it.
  • Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage.
  • Keep the wound bandaged and see your doctor.
  • Change the bandage several times a day once your doctor has examined the wound.
  • Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, increased pain and fever.
  • Your doctor will want to know more about the dog that bit you and how it happened. They will also likely clean the wound again, apply antibiotic ointment and prescribe antibiotics, such as Augmentin, if there’s an infection concern.

    After any bite, you should make sure you know when your last tetanus shot was — and that you’re up-to-date. While a tetanus immunization is good for 10 years, Dr. Sayles notes, your doctor may recommend a booster if the wound is dirty and it’s been more than five years since your last shot.

    Depending onthe wound, your doctor may also recommend stitches. Generally, though, dogwounds are left open to heal unless they are on the face or if they could leaveparticularly severe scars if left unsutured.

    Level Two:

    At a level two bite, a dog’s teeth will make contact with a person’s skin and leave some redness or light bruising but does not break the skin. These bites, like level one, are a way for a dog to warn that there might be a more serious reaction coming if their antagonizer does not back away and de-escalate the situation. While this sort of bite causes very limited physical injury with essentially zero chance of germ passage, they can still cause trauma and instill lifelong fear in victims, especially young children. 81% of all dog bites fall under the level one or two categories.

    Level One:

    When a dog snaps at the air in front of a human or another dog, that is a level one bite. This type of bite actually has no contact with the skin, but is rather a warning from the biting dog. A level one snap like this often occurs when a dog is put into a situation where it is frightened or cornered and wants the human or dog causing this distress to back away.

    Doctor explains how to assess and treat dog bites