A Natural Approach To Health
Living With a Dog Bite
I had a question the other day about a dog bite.
A bite or scratch from a dog (or cat) that breaks your skin poses a danger of infection, especially if the wound is deep.
Bites also carry the risk of rabies.
Most household pets are immunized against rabies, but the possibility of infection still exists.
Rabies is always fatal if you don’t get treated, so seek medical attention immediately.
It’s also possible to get a tetanus infection from an animal bite.
The microbe that causes tetanus lives in the top layers of soil, and in the intestinal tracts of cows and horses.
It easily infects wounds, especially crushing and puncture wounds.
A dog bite can be nothing more than a minor graze, or it can be so severe it’s life-threatening.
Children are at the most risk from dog bites, and children under 5 years of age are victims of the most severe attacks – many of them requiring hospitalization.
To deal with a dog bite it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates your body and flushes toxins.
*Echinacea, pau d’arco, and red clover, taken in tea form, are good for dog bites. Goldenseal extract can also be applied directly on the affected area. This is a natural antibiotic that helps to fight infection. (Don’t take echinacea for longer than 3 months.)
*If you’re bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Rabies treatment needs to begin at once.
*If you know who the dog’s owner is, ask about the animal’s vaccination status. If the dog is unfamiliar, try to have someone confine it if possible so its health can be checked and it can be placed under observation. But time is of the essence, so it’s always better to be treated against rabies when you’re not sure about the dog’s vaccination status.
*Teach children how to behave around animals, and teach them not to approach strange animals. Never leave a young child alone with an animal – even the family pet.
*Your physician may prescribe an oral antibiotic to prevent infection. If so, make sure you take a probiotic to replace the “friendly” bacteria the antibiotics destroy. Your doctor will also likely recommend you have a tetanus booster shot if you haven’t had one in 6 years or more.
*In most states, dog bites have to be reported to the local health department, and the dog must be kept under observation for any signs of rabies – viciousness, paralysis, growling, foaming at the mouth, or agitation. Rabies is a virus that, once established in the human central nervous system, is fatal. If the animal can’t be located so rabies can be ruled out, a series of rabies shots will be necessary. The series of shots given today is no longer so painful, nor are they given in your stomach, as in the past.
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