After a dog bite, you may be worried about infection. You should be worried to a degree because dog bites can become badly infected and cause significant complications without treatment. Making sure the wound is cleaned properly and that you’re vaccinated or treated for the right infections is essential.
To start with, when you go to the hospital, the bite will need to be irrigated. This just means that it’s going to be washed off to remove any debris or dirt. After this, the tissue has to be debrided, which means that any dead or necrotizing skin tissues should be removed. Foreign items may also be removed, such as rocks or splinters.
You may need to go through surgery in some cases, especially if there needs to be deep cleaning of the wound, repairs to tendons or other significant treatments. If your hand is bitten, it will be at a higher risk of infection, so it’s possible that a surgery may be used to clean it out and to verify that your hand is working correctly.
Antibiotics are generally prescribed right away, even if you aren’t sick yet. This helps prevent infections from starting. On top of that, you may be given vaccinations, like the tetanus vaccine or a rabies inoculation.
If you think that this all sounds expensive and time consuming, you’re right. A dog bite can do real damage that takes many months to recover from, if not longer. You may need significant medical care and numerous surgeries, depending on the location of the wound and if it has become infected. It is important to make sure you know the owner of the pet and seek compensation; they may be able to put in a claim with their homeowner’s insurance to help cover your losses.