If a dog has bitten you, there is a chance that you could develop a painful infection. This is because there are millions of bacteria in a dogs saliva.
However, there are a number of different antibiotics that can be administered to you by your doctor to fight the infection. Antibiotics will also help prevent the bacteria or virus from spreading to vital organs and other parts of the body. The most common and the best way to treat dog bites is by using prophylactic antibiotics.
If the wound has a high risk of becoming infected than prophylactic antibiotics are usually administered. If a dog bites you, and its teeth have punctured the skin, or the wound has needed surgical repair, you are more likely to develop an infection. You can also develop an infection if the dog that has bit you was immunocompromised or you have been bitten on the hands and face.
However, studies have shown that less than 20% of dog bites become infected and many will not require an antibiotic. You can clean the wound thoroughly with water, and you will likely avoid the wound becoming infected this way.
Types of Bites:
Dog bites are usually separated into two different categories. The first type is a fresh bite wound where the dog’s teeth have punctured the skin, or the bite is a maximum of 8 to 12 hours old. These bite wounds will not have become infected yet, but they are contaminated and will need to be cleaned.
The second type is a bite that is more than 12 hours old. These bites are usually beginning to become infected as the patient may have symptoms ranging from a fever, pain and discharge from the wound. When the bite begins to swell this is usually an indicator that it is becoming infected and you should immediately see your doctor for treatment as washing the wound will no longer suffice.
Types of Antibiotics to treat dog bites:
If the wound is likely to become infected or has already become infected the most common and the best antibiotic that is administered is amoxicillin. This antibiotic will attack and destroy any virus or bacteria you have picked up from a dog bite. This can be taken orally in a liquid or a tablet form. Prophylactic antibiotics like amoxicillin are usually given for a 3- 5-day course to prevent infection. However, if the wound is infected on presentation, a course of these antibiotics are given for ten days or longer.
As Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics, many people may be allergic to it as 10% of the population have this allergy making it the most reported drug allergy. If this is the case, your doctor may also prescribe erythromycin. This comes in many different types but is usually taken in either liquid or tablet form. Erythromycin stops the growth of bacteria, but it does not kill them, it instead prevents them from increasing in numbers, our immune system will then eventually destroy them.
In conclusion, if a dog bites you it is wise to see your doctor immediately as this may save you from developing a nasty infection from bacteria in the dog’s saliva. However, if you leave the wound, you are likely to develop an infection especially if you did not clean the wound properly. If you do develop an infection, various antibiotics can help treat the infection, but the most common and the best antibiotic for dog bite, that will be administered to you is amoxicillin. However, if you are allergic to penicillin you must tell your doctor this, and they will administer another antibiotic.