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They may be our best friends, but dogs are still animals and they can bite. according to the Centres for Disease Control. Children are also more likely than adults to be injured by a dog bite.
Although strays or other strange dogs can bite, most of the time people are actually bitten by a dog they know, which could be a friend's dog or even the family pet.

Although you can provide first aid for a dog bite at home, it's very important to see a doctor, especially if an unfamiliar dog bit you, the bite is deep, you can't stop the bleeding, or there are any signs of infection (redness, swelling, warmth, pus). Dog bites can cause infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.

When you visit the doctor, be prepared to answer a few questions, including:
• Do you know the owner of the dog?
• If so, is the dog up to date on all vaccinations, including rabies?
• Did the bite occur because the dog was provoked, or was the dog unprovoked?
• What health conditions do you have? People with diabetes, liver disease, illnesses that suppress the immune system, and other health conditions may be at greater risk for a more severe infection.

To care for a dog bite injury at home:
• Wash the bite carefully with running water.
• This may help clean away viruses bacteria. Then wash the wound with warm soapy water for at least 5 minutes. Cover it with clean bandage
• If the bite is bleeding heavily, apply direct pressure and raise it above heart level until the bleeding stops
• Do not use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound, as this could trap harmful organism in the wound.
• Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury every day to prevent infection.

• Your doctor will examine the injury to see whether the bite was deep enough to damage muscles, tendons, nerves, or bones. Then the doctor will thoroughly clean the bite wound to remove any dirt or bacteria, and may also remove dead tissues from the wound.
• Sometimes, sutures are used to close a dog bite wound; however, this practice is controversial. Although suturing the injury can reduce scarring, it also can increase the risk of infection. Very deep wounds that cause a great deal of damage may require plastic surgery.Your doctor will decide upon surgical treatment.
• Your doctor will decide upon rabies vaccine injection and rabies immunoglobulin injection.
• Your doctor will also take measures to prevent infection. The doctor will also make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shot.
• You may need to take antibiotics for seven to 14 days to prevent or treat an infection. The doctor may ask you to come back in one to three days to have the injury rechecked.
• If you did not know the dog that bit you, make sure to report the bite to your local animal control office or police.

To prevent dog bites:
• When choosing a dog for a family pet, pick one with a good temperament.
• Stay away from any dogs you don't know.
• Never leave young children alone with a dog -- especially an unfamiliar one.
• Don't try to play with any dog that is eating or feeding her puppies.
• Whenever you approach a dog, do so slowly, and give the dog the chance to approach you.
• If a dog becomes aggressive, do not run away or scream. Stay calm, move slowly, and don't make eye contact with the dog.

What You Can Do About Dog Bites:
Dogs are more than pets — they are family. But even well-behaved dogs can bite. Still, many incidents can be avoided. Teaching children how to stay safe is especially important, because they are the ones most likely to be bitten.

Warning signs:
Some behaviors may signal that a dog is aggressive, afraid, or protecting his or her territory, 3 situations that can set you up for a bite. Watch for the following:
• Growling, snarling, or barking.
• Crouching with the head low or the tail between the legs.
• Fur that’s standing up, erect ears, a stiff body, and a high tail.
• Obvious injury or pain.

Avoiding bites:
If a strange dog comes near you, stand still, keep your hands down, and avoid eye contact. If you’re knocked down, curl into a ball and cover your head, neck, and face. Remember these tips, too:
• Ask before petting a dog you don’t know.
• Never leave a child alone with a dog — even the family pet.
• Avoid dogs that are cornered, chained, in a car or behind a fence.
• Don’t play rough with any dog.
• Don’t break up a dog fight.
• Don’t surprise older dogs. One that’s deaf or blind may bite.
• Keep your face away from a dog’s head.
• Don’t disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

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