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Treating Dog Bite Wounds of the Hand

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Even though they are common, dog bite wounds of the hand can result in serious infections, pain, and a long list of other problems.

Your hands are comprised of several ligaments, muscles, small bones, and tendons that make them susceptible to a wide range of injuries. If your hands are not able to function properly, it can affect your ability to work and enjoy day-to-day activities.

The expert hand surgeons at Atlanta Hand Specialist offer comprehensive treatment plans for dog bite wounds of the hand. Continue reading to learn what to do after suffering a dog bite wound of the hand.

First Aid Treatment for a Minor Dog Bite Wound

If the dog bite results in minor bleeding, your skin may be barely broken. In this case, the chances of infection are minimal. Even so, it’s important to use the following steps to expedite your recovery.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water before you treat the wound and after.
  2. Sanitize the area around the dog bite with mild soap and running water. Afterwards, pat dry. This will reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Once you dry your skin, apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, and cover the wound with sterile dressing or a clean bandage.
  4. Reduce the likelihood of swelling by applying a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Schedule an appointment with Atlanta Hand Specialist to ensure none of the underlying structures of your hand were damaged.

First Aid Procedures for Deep Dog Bites

If the dog bite results in a deeply punctured or torn wound, the situation may be more urgent.

  1. Immediately wash your hands with water and soap before and after touching or treating the wound.
  2. Carefully inspect the wound and use water to remove any loose debris or dirt.
  3. Use a sterile bandage, towel, or clean cloth to directly apply pressure to the injury to stop the bleeding. As you apply pressure, it’s best to elevate the impacted area.
  4. If you are unable to stop the bleeding, you should call 911 immediately or go to the emergency room.
  5. Once the wound has been contained, call Atlanta Hand Specialist to schedule an appointment.

Why Should I See a Hand Specialist After a Dog Bite Wound?

Dog bites that break the skin may introduce an array of viral or bacterial deep-tissue infections. With any type of hand infection, it’s important to treat the wound early with aggressive measures. Failure to do so can result in complications even after the infection has cleared, such as:

  • Stiffness
  • Destruction of tissue
  • Loss of bone
  • Loss of nerve
  • Reduction in hand strength

At Atlanta Hand Specialist, we take dog bites very seriously. We use advanced imaging technology to determine whether the bite has damaged any joints or bones in your hand. We also use this technology to learn if any tooth fragments are left in your hand. If an infected dog bite wound goes untreated for too long, an x-ray will reveal evidence of bone infection or osteomyelitis.

Contact Atlanta Hand Specialist Today

If you have been bitten by a dog, it’s important to care for your hand as quickly as possible. Even though you may be able to treat the superficial wound at home, it’s imperative to contact the dog bite wound experts at Atlanta Hand Specialist.

Our fellowship-trained, highly specialized hand surgeons will manage, diagnose, and treat virtually all problems associated with the hand, wrist, elbow, and finger. We provide innovative solutions for tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and several other complex disorders, such as nerve injuries and fractures.

Contact Atlanta Hand Specialist today for expert treatment solutions for dog bite wounds of the hand.

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