Dog bites may vary from being just irritating to becoming life-threatening puncture wounds that can spread infection. Injuries sustained from dog bites vary in terms of how long they take to recover, depending on the severity of the bite and the victim’s general condition.
If a dog bite was severe enough to break the skin, you should treat the wound carefully and monitor its progress as it heals. After 10 days following a dog attack, most individuals will notice that the wound has mostly healed. The healing process for deeper bites may be lengthier and may need sutures or even surgery. Healing after a dog bite occurs in four distinct phases, and they are as follows:
Signs to know if there is an infection in the Dog Bite Wound.
It is possible for wounds to get infected if they are not treated appropriately. Here are some of the signs that you might see:
• Redness: Mild redness in the region of a wound might be normal, but excessive redness, redness that occurs quickly, or increasing redness are indications for worry. Other signs to look out for include:
• Inflammation: A healthy wound that is healing properly should not have an excessive amount of inflammation. Additionally, the swelling should never go up; it should always go down.
• Heat: Infected wounds will radiate more heat than the skin around them when measured in temperature.
• Pus: which may be white, green, or yellow in color.
• Red streaks: Any redness that is streaming out from surrounding the incision should be investigated by your veterinarian.
• Pain: It is normal for a wound to be uncomfortable, but similar to other symptoms such as redness, swelling, and heat, the pain should lessen as the wound heals. An increase in discomfort of any kind should raise concerns.
• Bad smell: Learn more about incision infections in dogs by reading our page on the subject.
Nonetheless, experiencing some of these symptoms to a lesser degree is typical. During the initial few days of recovery, it is common to have some mild discomfort, particularly when the bitten body part moves or is utilized. You should seek immediate medical attention if the pain or any of the other symptoms listed above is moderate to severe.
How to Know if a Dog Bite Wound is Healing
After you have removed the old bandage from your dog bite wound but have not yet applied the new one, you will want to examine the wound to make sure it is healing properly before applying the new bandage.
The bite triggers an instant cascade of healing events, the first of which is inflammation. When an injury occurs, the immune system reacts by sending white blood cells to the area to eliminate any germs or foreign substances. The area surrounding the incision becomes inflamed, swollen, and painful. Inflammation is a protective reaction to infection or damage that occurs naturally in the body.
At this point, it’s crucial to give the wound a good cleaning to get rid of any dirt, debris, or germs that may have accumulated. Your vet can suggest an antibiotic ointment or another therapy to aid with infection prevention.
Possible Reasons for Worry for this stage:
The degree of inflammation experienced by each dog is unique, depending on the severity of their wounds and their general health. For others, the appearance of symptoms is a warning sign of a deeper issue.
There are certain warning signs that you should look out for, and we’ve listed them here. Talk to your vet right away if you see any of these symptoms.
- Intense fever – a rise in temperature is to be expected. But, if your dog’s temperature is consistently high, it may be a sign that the wound is infected.
- Odors that aren’t so fresh – the wound on your dog may give off a pungent stench. One possible cause of a putrid odor is an infected cut.
- Sometimes, you may see crimson streaks surrounding your dog’s wound. These might be signs of lymphangitis or an infection of the lymph vessels.
- Bleeding is normal after surgery, but if there is a lot of blood it might be an indication of something more dangerous.
After the inflammatory response diminishes, the body starts to replace the damaged tissue with new granulation tissue. Granulation tissue consists of microvessels and connective tissue, both of which are essential to the wound-healing process. Granulation tissue is crucial because it acts as a scaffold for the development of new skin cells and keeps the wound from closing in on itself.
The wound may be red and damp and begin to exude a clear or yellowish fluid at this point. As a result of this, new tissue is developing, which is a healthy aspect of the recovery process.
Epithelialization: New skin cells develop over the wound and create a protective layer during this stage, known as epithelialization. When the skin cells move toward the center of the lesion, the margins may begin to heal. Depending on the severity and location of the wound, this might take several days to weeks.
It’s crucial at this point to keep the wound clean and covered up to avoid additional damage or infection. Bandaging or treating the wound at the advice of your vet may be necessary.
Maturation: In the last phase of healing, called maturation, new skin cells and tissue continue to develop and strengthen, eventually forming a scar. Although the scar tissue could be red and bumpy at first, it will eventually even out in tone and smooth out. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, this might take anything from a few months to a whole year.
At this point, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the incision for any symptoms of infection or other issues. Your vet may suggest follow-up visits to check on the wound’s progress.
When Will the Bite on Your Dog Heal?
One in four dog bites need medical care, as reported by the CDC. Dog bites often recover within 10-14 days after the incident. The healing time for severe dog bites may be longer.
The severity of your dog bite will determine whether or not you need medical attention, such as stitches or perhaps surgery. During healing from a dog bite, if you experience any of the following symptoms, medical attention should be sought immediately.
- Sensitivity to touch that is out of proportion.
- An outflow of fluid from the injury.
It’s wise to double-check just to be sure, but it’s possible that these signs and symptoms are just part of the healing process in the days after a dog bite. If you suspect the dog that bit you was infected with rabies, you should get medical help right once.
Best Tips to Help a Dog Bite Wound heal faster
While dealing with a wound, it’s crucial to keep it clean so that infection doesn’t set in. The wound may be cleaned gently with water and light soap. In the event of bleeding, a clean towel or gauze should be applied gently over the cut until the blood stops flowing. If you want to speed up the healing process, you shouldn’t use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine.
When the wound has been cleaned, an antibiotic ointment should be used to reduce the risk of infection. Antibiotic creams and ointments are available without a prescription at most drugstores. Carefully read the label before applying the ointment.
Use a sterile bandage or dressing to cover the wound and prevent infection. Dressings should be changed daily, or more often if they become moist or soiled. Depending on where the injury is located on your body, you may need to take precautions, such as wearing gloves or socks, even while you go about your normal routine.
If the wound is on a limb, rest the limb and elevate it to minimize swelling and speed recovery. In addition to easing pain and suffering, resting the affected leg is recommended. The increased blood flow to the injured region will hasten the recovery process.
If the wound is giving you discomfort, use pain medication as prescribed. Painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which are available without a prescription, may help alleviate discomfort and inflammation. If there is a suggested dose, only take that amount.
If your doctor has recommended antibiotics or other medicine, take it exactly as instructed. Whether it’s changing the dressing or making sure the wound stays dry, do what your doctor tells you to do. As a result, the wound is more likely to heal normally and without any issues.
A wound infection might manifest as redness, swelling, warmth, or drainage, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these symptoms. Get in touch with your doctor right once if you have any of these signs and symptoms. Serious problems from infected wounds may be avoided with prompt medical attention.
Keep up with a healthy lifestyle: Living a healthy lifestyle might aid in the healing process. Eating poorly, not getting enough sleep, and engaging in unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol may all hinder recovery. Using tobacco products or consuming alcohol might slow healing by decreasing blood flow to the injured region or suppressing the immune system’s capacity to fight infection.