Bite Dog Treatment
Treatment for a dog bite usually includes wound cleansing and irrigation, antibiotics, and tetanus vaccination. Rabies vaccination may be recommended in some cases of dog bite.
Treatment for a dog bite may include:
Bite Dog Rabies
Animals that may carry rabies include:
Rodents and rabbits rarely carry rabies.
Dogs and cats can carry rabies if they are not up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. However, rabies is very rare in dogs and cats. Animal Control personnel decide whether an animal should be observed for signs of rabies over a 10 day period. The animal is considered safe if it does not show signs of rabies over the 10 day period. If the animal cannot be captured, the Animal Control officer and physician will decide whether rabies vaccines should be given to someone who has been bitten.
Bite Dog Tetanus
Dog bites rarely cause tetanus. Most children born in the US have received three tetanus shots (boosters) in the past, because these boosters are part of the usual vaccination schedule. Additional tetanus boosters are given every 10 years.
Those who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:
- Those who have not had 3 tetanus boosters in the past need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have not received a tetanus booster in the past 10 years need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have dirty wounds need a tetanus booster if they have not received a booster in the past 5 years.
Dirty wounds include:
- Wounds that occur outdoors
- Wounds that contain dirt or foreign material
- Wounds caused by bites
- Tetanus booster:
- A tetanus booster stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the tetanus toxin.
- A tetanus booster may be given to those who have received 3 tetanus boosters in the past.
- The tetanus booster may be given within 72 hours after the wound occurs.
- Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG):
Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
|History||Clean, Minor Wound||Other Wounds|
|< 3 boosters||give Td||give Td + TIG|
|3 boosters||possible Td||possible Td|
Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.
Continue to Bite Dog Home Care
- Brook I. Management of human and animal bite wounds: an overview. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 May;18(4):197-203. 
- Brook I. Microbiology and management of human and animal bite wound infections. Prim Care. 2003 Mar;30(1):25-39, v. 
- Correira K. Managing dog, cat, and human bite wounds. JAAPA. 2003 Apr;16(4):28-32, 34, 37. 
- Talan DA, Citron DM, Abrahamian FM, Moran GJ, Goldstein EJ. Bacteriologic analysis of infected dog and cat bites. Emergency Medicine Animal Bite Infection Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1999 Jan 14;340(2):85-92. 
- Wolff KD. Management of animal bite injuries of the face: experience with 94 patients. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1998 Jul;56(7):838-43.