Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment rabies tetanus Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Complications

Bitten by a Dog Home Care

Home care measures for a dog bite include:

  • Apply direct pressure to control bleeding:
    • Use a gauze or clean cloth directly on the bite.
    • Maintain constant pressure for at least 10 minutes.
    • Do not interrupt the pressure, in order to look at the bite.
  • Clean the bite:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Running water can help remove dirt.
    • Gently dab the bite with hydrogen peroxide to remove clotted blood.
    • Do not scrub the bite.
    • Remove dirt or foreign material from the bite.
    • Clean the bite 3 times a day
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
  • Keep the bite clean and dry.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Notify Animal Control Services
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Bitten by a Dog Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with a dog bite include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Bitten by a Dog Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with a dog bite include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Bitten by a Dog Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a dog bite and any of the following:

Continue to Bitten by a Dog Outlook

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Bitten by a Dog References
  1. Brook I. Management of human and animal bite wounds: an overview. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 May;18(4):197-203. [15920371]
  2. Brook I. Microbiology and management of human and animal bite wound infections. Prim Care. 2003 Mar;30(1):25-39, v. [12825249]
  3. Correira K. Managing dog, cat, and human bite wounds. JAAPA. 2003 Apr;16(4):28-32, 34, 37. [14968515]
  4. 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. [9887159]
  5. Wolff KD. Management of animal bite injuries of the face: experience with 94 patients. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1998 Jul;56(7):838-43. [9663574]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.