Urgent Care Treatment For A Dog Bite

Posted on: 18 December 2019

If you get bit by a dog, you need to seek treatment at an urgent care center or hospital as soon as possible. Dog bites can quickly become infected, and if not treated promptly, bone and soft tissue damage can develop. Here are some interventions the providers at an urgent care center will implement for your dog bite.

Tetanus Shot

If you are not current on your tetanus shots, you may need a booster. While dog bites are not considered to be especially high risk when it comes to developing tetanus, if the dog had a mouth full of dirt or mud when it bit you, the risk for tetanus rises. If you are unsure whether or not you've had a tetanus shot in the last decade, the doctor will probably recommend that you get one.

Even if you have had a tetanus shot within the last decade, an additional booster is unlikely to cause problems, and it will protect you against a life-threatening case of tetanus. The urgent care staff will also recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you experience pain or swelling at the injection site. You may experience muscle pain immediately after your injection or not until days later. 

Wound Cleanse

Your dog bite wound will also be cleaned thoroughly and dressed with a sterile dressing once an antibiotic ointment has been applied. You will be instructed to change your dressing periodically and to keep it dry. While topical antibiotic ointment will be applied to your wound, the doctor at the urgent care facility will probably write you a prescription for oral antibiotics to further help prevent infection.

Even though your dog bite wound will be cleaned appropriately once you arrive at the urgent care facility, clean it at home before you leave, if possible. This will help wash away infection-causing bacteria before it has a chance to infiltrate your circulation. If the area is bleeding profusely, apply pressure to the area until the bleeding stops or slows down. 

If you get bit by a dog, seek urgent care treatment as soon as possible. When doing so, you will reduce your risk of infection, bone damage, and scarring. The urgent care staff will also try to determine if the dog is current on its rabies vaccinations. If you know the dog that bit you, the staff may expect you to give them the owner's information so that the animal's veterinarian can be contacted. Contact a clinic like Urgent Care Pros to learn more.