Land Animal Bite (cont.)
Land Animal Bite Treatment
- All bite wounds require immediate, thorough cleansing with plenty of fresh tap water. Gently scrub the wound with soap and water to remove foreign material.
- At the doctor's office or a hospital a syringe would be used to provide high-pressure irrigation. Dead tissue is removed from the wound with a sterile scissors or scalpel. After cleansing, a topical bacitracin ointment should be applied three times per day.
- Wounded extremities should be immobilized and elevated.
- Puncture wounds and bites are usually not sutured (stitched) unless they involve the face.
- Oral antibiotics are usually recommended to prevent infection. If infection develops, continue antibiotics for at least five days after all signs of infection have cleared. Check for drug allergy prior to starting any antibiotic. Some antibiotics can cause increased sensitivity to the sun, so a sunscreen should be used (at least SPF 15).
- Pain may be relieved with 1-2 tablets of acetaminophen 325-500 mg (Tylenol) pain relievers every four hours and/or 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen 200 mg (Motrin, Advil) every six to eight hours.
When to Seek Medical Care
- All land animal bite wounds require medical attention.
- A doctor should be consulted about treatment, wound care, and need for rabies prophylaxis or antibiotics.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery
MescapeReference. Animal Bites.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2015
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
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