Pet forum for dogs cats and humans -

Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - (
-   General Forum for cats and dogs (
-   -   How to deal with a bite. (

Yoho August 15th, 2005 09:04 PM

How to deal with a bite.
I want to post this little blurb based on my recent experience when my baby was bitten by a dog. The event was made much more difficult for me because I was living in a fantasy world in which that sort of thing wasn't going to happen. The fact is that I was so completely terrified by the thought of such a thing happening, that I didn't think of how to respond properly. This was simply ignorance.

I'm hoping that if I share this information, somebody who reads it will benefit.

First of all, it is critical to avoid the dog bite. Experts recommend that you never leave a child and a dog alone together.
Unfortunately, even supervised dogs will bite children under unexpected circumstances. Just because the owner is holding the dog's collar does not mean your child is safe.

Second of all, ANY bite that draws blood / breaks the skin (Cat, Dog, or Human) requires anti-biotic treatment. If a visit to the emergency is not warranted based on the size of the cut, go to a doctor within a day to get a prescription to prevent infection. Infected cuts scar.

Thirdly, If you don't know the vaccination history of the dog you must report the dog and the event to the authorities for rabies testing. If the dog is a stray, the bitten person will require rabies shots.

Fourth of all, if this happens to your child remember that your immediate instinct is that of a mother bear with her cub. You will be ready to attack and out for revenge. Calm down before you start blaming everybody and attacking the dog. It is important to try and be a civilized human being even when something uncivilized and inhuman occurs.

Fifthly, try not to make a big deal in front of the child that may make the child more afraid. Don't expect the dog to be punished after the fact if it was provoked. Obedience lessons with the dog and the child (if they are to live together) from a professional trainer are a good idea.

Finally, I hope this never happens to you. Maybe if you realize that it happens quite often and that dog bites are the second most common reason for children to visit the hospital, you will realize that you
It doesn't matter how cute, nice, well-trained, friendly, well-known, or small the dog is... any dog can bite a child under circumstances. I just wish someone had told me this before it happened to me.

I hope you never have to deal with this problem yourself.

Thanks to everybody who wrote to me.

StaceyB August 15th, 2005 09:12 PM

Wow, you learned a lot since your first post on this subject. I am very impressed. Very well put together.

BoxerRescueMTL August 15th, 2005 09:38 PM

Thank you Yoho, great post! I really think this should be made a sticky. So many people think *their* dog won't bite. This is a very dangerous way to think. I say if it has teeth, it can bite.

StaceyB August 15th, 2005 09:47 PM

Hey, don't forget those beaks.

BoxerRescueMTL August 15th, 2005 09:49 PM

LOL, my sis and my mom both have yellow headed amazons. Talk about those beaks! They freakin' hurt!!!

StaceyB August 15th, 2005 09:54 PM

I have the big guys but I would have to say those darn budgies don't let go. ouch!

Prin August 16th, 2005 11:24 AM

Thanks for posting that. It's a well-written set of guidelines. :)

MIA August 16th, 2005 01:08 PM

Thirdly, If you don't know the vaccination history of the dog you must report the dog and the event to the authorities for rabies testing. If the dog is a stray, the bitten person will require rabies shots.

I just want to add that this isn't necesarily true, I was badly bitten last year and we weren't sure if the dog was vaccinated for rabies and I didn't get rabies shots nor was the dog tested, they have to test the brain of the animal, which would require for the dog to be PTS. It may depend your area, we haven't had a case of canine rabies in approx 20 years, and the doctor didn't want me to go through it...

But yes see a doctor if the skin was broken and please be careful with strange dogs, even those you know, remember it's still an [U]ANIMAL[/U].

coppperbelle August 16th, 2005 02:04 PM

Rabies protocol
[QUOTE=MIA]I just want to add that this isn't necesarily true, I was badly bitten last year and we weren't sure if the dog was vaccinated for rabies and I didn't get rabies shots nor was the dog tested, they have to test the brain of the animal, which would require for the dog to be PTS. It may depend your area, we haven't had a case of canine rabies in approx 20 years, and the doctor didn't want me to go through it...

But yes see a doctor if the skin was broken and please be careful with strange dogs, even those you know, remember it's still an [U]ANIMAL[/U].[/QUOTE]

I am very surprised that the doctor did not recommend that you were innoculated against rabies. When my dog bit someone in the U.S. Health Canada contacted me twice. Once right after the bite and the next time 10 days later. The girl that was bitten needed proof from me that my dog was vaccinated. If not she would have to undergo the injections. I think your doctor took a chance.

MIA August 16th, 2005 02:21 PM

I'm not unhapppy with his decision, we haven't had a case or rabies as I have stated in approx 20 years, the dog was from BC Canada, and I am thankful he didn't want me to have it, as they are very painful, the bite was bad enough!!! I am a minimalist myself and if given the choice I probably wouldn't have done it, UNLESS there was a real risk of the dog having rabies (which there wasn't), obviously we made a good choice as I don't have rabies and all is well 1 year later. I am guessing you were contacted as you were in the USA, most areas still have rabies and yes it would have been a concern to US doctors and authorities.

Joey.E.CockersMommy August 16th, 2005 02:50 PM

Great post. My son was bitten by a dog once while at a friends house. He asked the owner if he could pet him, the owner was sitting right there and holding the dog. Callum reached out to pet him and in a flash got bitten on the eye. It wasn't serious, but really scared him. Afterwards we realised the dog had a toy underneath him and perhaps he was being possessive.

My boys keep asking me if they can be alone with our dog and I constantly have to tell them no. Joey has had some growling issues with our son but even if he didn't I dont let them alone together.

BullLover August 25th, 2005 06:56 PM

I was bit by a stray last year. I had called Animal Care to pick them up, since I am by a very busy road. I was playing fetch with one of the dogs (which both were friendly) when I got bit (out of excitment). I had to get a shot, but the dog did not have rabies. Thanks for the great post!

JessXx October 24th, 2005 08:54 PM

Thanks for this.

Pokittles October 12th, 2006 12:24 PM

i was attacked by a dog in december. it was awful. i spent a week in the hospital, including christmas. i've been out of work since and after months of physical and mental therapy, i'm trying to get back on my feet. i don't think i'll ever be the same. you try not to make a big deal about it but it really is. if i didn't have someone with me that day i would of been dead. thankfully the dog was updated on his vaccines. i had more of an issue with the doctors. i had punctures and bruises all over my body, my right arm getting it the worse. instead of keeping me in the hospital, the doctor stitched up my arm and sent me home with antibiotics...3 days later my arm is infected and gangrene! i've been a dog lover my whole life but after this incident i find it hard to even be around dogs. i tense up and become very uncomfortable...this situation isn't good for the dogs around me either because they sense this. anyway, i spent months in therapy and unfortunatley i still have issues and nightmares. i'm hoping someday i can get over this and have my love of dogs back but as for now i'll stick with my cats.

Koda&Onyx October 24th, 2006 10:21 AM

I am so sorry to hear of what happened to you. Just reading your post was sad for me. I thank God that I never had to deal with anything as far as a serious bite from a dog and I hope that I never will. But I pray that you get better mentally and physically, because I know it has to be difficult.:sorry:

SARAH November 15th, 2006 03:54 PM

Wow, that must have hurt!:yell:

I was bitten by a dog once - nipped a few times by my aunt's Cocker, but this was different. I was at a garage, and the owner was away, leaving his Briard "in charge". I had a husky and a rott at the time and this black dog didn't worry me, especially as he was loose. I figured you don't leave a dog loose if he's agressive, right?

He came up to me, I petted him, all well and good. I looked around for some human presense and saw none. As I left I held my hand out to pet the dog again, and in a flash he grabbed by hand. Lucky for me, he just bit down and didn't rip or shake his head.

I went straight to the police station, and they did talk to the owner (apparently someone on the borderline of legality and being watched by the law already for other matters). I just washed my hand and left it at that, but the next day I had to go to the doctor with a hand doubled in size.

Lucky thing though, just some antibiotic medicine and a few uncomfortable days, and I was fine again. The dog was tested for rabies, and was fine too.

I still to this day don't know what his problem was, why he bit me. Maybe he thought I had taken something while looking for his owner, I don't know. I never went near him again (he always strayed around the next-door supermarket parking, I was worried about all the kids and elderly crossing there all the time), but I wasn't mad at the dog.

I had dogs at the time, like I said, and I have had dogs since; I don't go out of my way to avoid dogs. This was a one-time incident, maybe even for the dog in question, and will not alter my behavior with, or view on dogs. There is always one bad apple to give the others a bad reputation. Try to forget it and move on.

By the way, I do still have a scar (this was 12 years ago) but so minimal even I have trouble seeing it smetimes.

Colubridz November 18th, 2006 11:26 PM

I agree with everyone else very helpful post. I'm sorry to here about your extremely bad run in with a stray, and can relate to the mental stress afterwards as when I was 12 I was attacked by two large dogs in a park while walking my uncle's boxer. She stepped in and held them at bay but it's still a very scary thing and I was lucky enough to escape unharmed. I don't blame the two dogs, they never asked to be raised by an irresponsible owner who never socialised and trained them enough and they didnt ask to be let offlesh that day but it took me quite ahwile to put it behind me and even harder to rid myself of any personal predjuidces I gained that day against those two breeds ( happened to be a golden retriever and a dobbie, both breeds that I love very much).

One questions about seeking medical treatment for any open skin wounds would this apply to puppy nips as well. My 14 week Rotti/German Shepherd/ Collie pup is still badly teething and still trying to test his place in the pack hiearchy and occasionally has nipped me, not with alot of force but those little teeth are so sharp that it has broken the skin. He's already had his rabies shot and is up to date on his vaccines would I still need to go get anti-biotics or would keeping it clean be good enough?


MyBirdIsEvil November 18th, 2006 11:54 PM

My puppy used to be really nippy too and if it broke skin i'd usually just wash my hands right away and make sure to keep the punctures clean.
If you're worried about it you could put some polysporin on it until it heals as a preventative measure, but a doctors visit shouldn't be necessary unless you start to notice it looks infected.
If I went to the doctor every time my puppy broke skin I'd have been at the doctor several times a week, lol.

Colubridz November 19th, 2006 12:31 AM

Thats what I was thinking but after reading the thread I thought I should double check as Im not a huge fan of docotors and before reading this post as long as I didn't need stitches wouldn't go.


MyBirdIsEvil November 19th, 2006 12:55 AM

Puncture wounds are actually more prone to infection than open wounds, but small puppy teeth rarely penetrate further than the the skin which is why you're not likely to get an infection as long as you keep it clean.
If you get a bite that causes a fairly deep puncture wound it's a good idea to go to the doctor and have it checked out.
ANY wound that becomes extremely painful or appears infected should be checked by a doctor.
Obviously open wounds should be treated and checked by a doctor, but they're not necessarily more likely to become infected than a puncture wound.

dancer November 19th, 2006 05:35 AM

cat bite
Well this is my introduction to this website.
Yesterday my cat, (who is normally mild-mannered and kept indoors over the winter months), got outside yesterday so I went to get him. He was up on a neighbour's fence so I talked to him as I approached. The ears went down and he hissed (highly unusual) but it didn't even cross my mind that my own cat would bite guessed it I reached up for him he sank his teeth in and the harder I screamed the more often he bit me. I couldn't believe it! Break the skin?? Hell yes I lost count as I tried to bandage it up.

Well after reading all your posts, I guess I am off to a trip to the doctor's today. And the worst of it is this.....I was coping with a sick family member over the summer so I forgot to get the cat's rabies shots in August. I am so afraid they will do something to him.

Bye for now

TaraJeanne December 4th, 2006 05:13 PM

I can relate
when I was hmm about 9 I was on the play ground before school and there was a german shepard there and one of the other kids yelled attack and for some reason it responded to this verbal command and came charging at me it nipped my hand and tugged my ocat but for years and years i was afraid of german shepards It turns out this particulair boy was a retired police dog and was only trained to respond to one voice but for what ever reason e did this thankfully i wasnt hurt badly and the dog wasnt put to sleep but I remember it took me a long time before i could be around a german shepard and not be afraid and now i am the proud owner of a german shepard/ rottweiler thankfully I have goten over my fear or i would never have known the joys of Ladybug she is a huge part of my world and I am gratefull every day we spend together I wish you the best in your recovery form your fears and your injurys

nikki4 December 11th, 2006 01:23 AM

i'm sorry
I am so sorry to those of you who have gotten bit. I know sometimes it's not explainable.
I was bitten by a dog when I was three. My parents told me that their cousins put their dog down because of it. I feel terrible because of that. Still, and I am in my 30's. Did they ever think maybe it was the way I held my hand to pat him? Maybe the dog was afraid of me, or maybe the dog had bad experiences with small children pulling fur or poking at him? I don't have any recolection of the bite and I have no fear of any dogs. I have also been bitten so bad by my friends cat because I was holding him during a flee bath that he bit me so hard on my thumb he hit bone and I bled pretty bad, but I know it was because he was afraid. Be patient with them as some of them have fear enough to do something like that, and they have no voices to be able to tell us why.
Best wishes.

azaleyes February 19th, 2007 11:11 AM

To the OP, fabulous post! I am sorry that your child had to go through being bitten - it is a very sad experience for everyone involved.

From an owner standpoint, I felt like I should point out that vaccinations come into play anytime that a dog bitch is involved. None of my dogs have ever bitten anyone (thankfully) but any dog will bite under the "right" circumstance. Whenever you are bitten by a dog that does not have vaccinations, or is not confirmed to have vaccinations (aka papers from vet in hand) I would INSIST on rabies treatment. If your dog bites someone (and this includes all owners who rely on holistic methods and do not use shots) your dog could very well end up dead for testing purposes.

I also should mention that I do not trust off-leash dogs EVER not to bite- especially when the owner is nowhere to be seen.

dr_dolittle57 February 23rd, 2007 05:48 PM

Your post summed everything up throughly. Dogs can behave differently around kids or when the owner isn't home. It's good advice to never leave kids alone with dogs. An incident can happen quickly. I remember as a youngster, getting bit in the nose my neighbors dog who had always been friendly. Good safe thoughts you have shared. Sorry to hear about this incident.

glitterless March 22nd, 2007 04:46 AM

About rabies...

I thought that in Ontario, if a bite is reported and the dog's owner doesn't have proof of rabies vaccination, the dog must be quarantined for so many days OR the victim of the bite can choose to have the vaccinations just to be safe.

My sister was bitten twice by our family dog. She was probably about 16 when the bites occurred. The first time was an obvious warning and we all should have known better. He was sleeping on the couch beside her, she leaned over to grab the remote, he woke up startled and bit her in the face. It was very minor. The second time was similar. He was asleep on the floor. She walked over to him and bent over him to wake him up. This time I didn't see it, but it was pretty bad. He must have actually grabbed on to her lips and chin for a few seconds. Most of her upper lip was gone.

She's in her 20s now and still has trouble with dogs. She's gotten a lot better, but I can still see that she's uneasy with them. It's sad, because she's an animal lover and I know she wants to have another dog eventually.

I agree that children shouldn't be left alone with dogs. But obviously neither should teenagers! But in my sister's case, she's the type that thinks that any discipline is mean and that she wants to be the dog's friend. If she had shown him the upper hand from the beginning I don't think she would have been bitten.

I'm sorry to all of you who have bitten bitten or had children and family bitten. It's really awful and scary.

Edgewaters April 1st, 2007 05:00 AM

[QUOTE=Yoho;167572]It doesn't matter how cute, nice, well-trained, friendly, well-known, or small the dog is... any dog can bite a child under circumstances. I just wish someone had told me this before it happened to me. [/QUOTE]

ANY dog can bite under certain circumstances (not necessarily just kids, either). It's a myth that responsible ownership can totally prevent this behaviour. Dogs are animals and they are sometimes unpredictable. I believe there is a "myth of responsible ownership" that is sometimes propagated; while it's very much true that responsible ownership can really make a huge difference in how a dog behaves, and irresponsible ownership can cause dogs to become very anti-social and aggressive, it is also true that responsible ownership is not a magic bullet that can guarantee 100% that a dog will not bite. Dogs are first and foremost unpredictable. Just like human beings, even the mildest dog has a capacity for extreme violence in its very being. Responsible ownership simply reduces the number of triggers to an improbable amount, but it cannot completely remove the most deep-seated ones.

Prin April 1st, 2007 07:11 AM

[QUOTE]Dogs are first and foremost unpredictable[/QUOTE]I strongly disagree on that point.

glitterless April 3rd, 2007 09:38 PM

Why, Prin? I completely agree. IMO all animals are unpredictable.

Prin April 3rd, 2007 09:40 PM

IMO, my dogs aren't. Strangers's dogs, maybe, but not mine.:shrug: Unless they're sick, you should know your dog's behavior and you should know your dog's body language also.:shrug:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.