Q:

What are some characteristics of dog bites?

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Quick Answer

Characteristics of dog bites include pain near the bite site and visible teeth marks on the skin, explains The Hand Center of Western Massachusetts. Dog bites can also cause the skin to tear or bleed. An individual who has been bitten by a dog and notice warmth, redness, swelling and pain that lasts more than 24 hours needs an evaluation by a medical professional to determine if an infection exists.

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Full Answer

Additional signs of an infection resulting from a dog bite include red streaks that extend from the arm to the forearm, pus drainage from the wound, swollen glands in the armpit or around the elbow, and a loss of mobility, according to The Hand Center of Western Massachusetts. Some patients with infections from a dog bite suffer from night sweats, fever, malaise or a loss of sensation near the bite wound. It is important to have a medical professional treat infections immediately.

Treatment for minor dog bites that do not pose a risk of rabies include washing the affected area of the skin with water and mild soap, applying antibiotic ointment to the wound, and covering the bite with sterile dressing, explains WebMD. Patients can reduce swelling by wrapping the wound area with an ice pack or cold compress.

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