Dog Bites- Preventing Infection After Dog Bite


My dachshund had a severely herniated disc in his back. I tried some homeopathics with him before taking him in for surgery in December of 2009. During the time he and I were house-bound, we slept only a few hours at a time. He was tired. I was tired.


Early one morning, I tried to move one of his front feet, and he bit me. Since he had essentially no control over his back legs at that time, I was totally disrupting his balance and stability. It was really stupid of me, but as I said, we were both tired.

Sebastian after Back Surgery

Sebastion post-op from decompression after T12-T13 disk herniation.
Sebastion post-op from decompression after T12-T13 disk herniation. | Source

Dog Bite Wounds



Being an Occupational Therapist doing hand therapy for the last 6 years, I have treated several clients with infections after dog bites. These clients were referred from the hand surgeon and sometimes needed to be seen 3 to 5 times a week. I did not want to have this kind of inconvenience! Besides, I still had my little man to take care of.

My wounds were small, and clearly would not require stitches. I had a small laceration-like wound on the inside (toward the middle finger) of my right index finger. On the palmer surface of my right index finger, toward the thumb side, I had 2 bruising puncture wounds. I had another small laceration-like wound to the top of my left hand.

I asked my brother to go to Sun Harvest and ask one of the clerks what I could do to prevent infection after dog bite wounds. The clerk suggested salt water soaks and Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. If you have more extensive wounds, you of course would need to be seen by a medical provider.


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Injured index finger on left.  Circumference 5 mm greater at the base of the finger than the other index finger. Circumference 7 mm greater at the tip.  Small laceration-like wound on the dorsum of my left hand. Already healing on day 2.   Laceration-like wound on the ulnar aspect of right index finger. Residual masque adhering to wound.  Wounds already healing on day 2.  Two puncture wounds to volar radial right index finger. Wounds already healing on day 2.   Karo Syrup cool pack.  Wounds with with fresh application of Mint Julep Masque.  Sebastion profile.  Chocolate dapple dachshund. He has a huge overbite.
Injured index finger on left.  Circumference 5 mm greater at the base of the finger than the other index finger. Circumference 7 mm greater at the tip.
Injured index finger on left. Circumference 5 mm greater at the base of the finger than the other index finger. Circumference 7 mm greater at the tip.
Small laceration-like wound on the dorsum of my left hand. Already healing on day 2.
Small laceration-like wound on the dorsum of my left hand. Already healing on day 2.
Laceration-like wound on the ulnar aspect of right index finger. Residual masque adhering to wound.  Wounds already healing on day 2.
Laceration-like wound on the ulnar aspect of right index finger. Residual masque adhering to wound. Wounds already healing on day 2.
Two puncture wounds to volar radial right index finger. Wounds already healing on day 2.
Two puncture wounds to volar radial right index finger. Wounds already healing on day 2.
Karo Syrup cool pack.
Karo Syrup cool pack.
Wounds with with fresh application of Mint Julep Masque.
Wounds with with fresh application of Mint Julep Masque.
Sebastion profile.  Chocolate dapple dachshund. He has a huge overbite.
Sebastion profile. Chocolate dapple dachshund. He has a huge overbite.

 

I used about ½ cup of Epsom’s Salts in about 2 quarts of warm water to soak my hands about 3 times a day.  I then soaked in cold water, similar to contrast baths, or used a Karo Syrup cold pack afterward to prevent further swelling.  I then used a Q-tip to apply the masque.  After handwashing, the masque still essentially adhered to the open wounds, and did not need re-application. 



My index finger on my right hand was 5 mm bigger at the base compared to my left, and 7 mm bigger at the distal interphalangeal joint, near the nail. After 2 days using Epsom Salts and the masque, the redness (indicating inflammation) around the wounds had subsided. By the 3rd day the swelling had gone down and I could make a full fist again. I stopped the protocol about day 5, but still applied the masque about once a day. By 2 ½ weeks, the skin was completely healed on my wounds.


A week or so later, I had a routine follow-up with my Naturopath. He told me I could use ledum 30C after dog bite wounds or other puncture wounds, 9 drops per day, or 200C, 1 to 2 times per day for 5 days. This is also good for insect bites. For prevention of infections, including tetanus, he recommended 200C, one time per week, for 2 or 3 doses. Of course, you should discuss this with your Alternative Medicine provider. I am relating this just to provide information that there are options for those of us who have embraced alternative and holistic medicine options, and prefer to avoid prescription drugs.



Sebastian Getting Out of the Way

Sebastian crawled into the nightstand in a hotel room
Sebastian crawled into the nightstand in a hotel room | Source

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Thanks for reading! 12 comments

habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia

Excellent info, as always. I've had my share of dog bites - most of them accidents - but they still hurt! lol. Voted up!


hanwillingham profile image

hanwillingham 5 years ago

Very useful hub. Thanks for sharing.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Camille, the Mint Julep is great to keep on hand. My sister also used it when she got stabbed in the face by a plant. The whole side of her face was swollen. In 2 days, the red, swollen area was about a 1 1/2 inch circle.


Camille Harris profile image

Camille Harris 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

I'm going to look for the Mint Julep mask as I sustained a dog bite to the face about a week ago. I might also add that tea tree oil (sparingly) mixed with vitamin E oil is good to apply post antibiotics! Great Hub!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Sun-Girl. We now use the Mint Julep for any kind of puncture wound, bug bites, etc. My sister got poked in the face by a plant while landscaping. Whole side of her face was swollen, but went down to 2 inch ring after 48 hours with Mint Julep.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Thanks rmcrayne for this great and wonderful article you published in here because dog bite is actually sounding like an abomination in my people ears but so much enjoyed how you presented this work


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks rexacrouch. I completed the survey.


rexacrouch 6 years ago

How often do little dogs bite? Help us find out with this short 6 question survey.

Thanks!

www.surveymonkey.com/s/DogOwnership


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

frogy I just went to Sun Harvest and asked for suggestions for preventing infection. This protocol was something the clerk personally vouched for.

I may write a small piece on my trial of homeopathics with my dog. Also my personal experience with Alternative Medicine, supervised by an experienced provider. Finally, I plan to write about my experience in alternative strategies and philosophy in diet and nutrition.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

What was considered helpful in the Helen Curtis mask?

Ledum was great, but would Hepar sulph also have worked for you? I have myself taken a Himalaya brand product of mushroom combo plus other herbs as anti-infective help.

Would like more of this type hub from you - and thanks for sharing this story!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Yes ethel, this is the kind of info you hope not to need, but good to know for when you do need it. Thanks for reading. I always appreciate it so much that you let me know that you dropped by.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

I hope I will not need this info :) It is very useful though, just in case

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    rmcrayne profile image

    rmcrayne1,089 Followers
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    In health care since 1977, and keenly aware of Western Medicine shortcomings, Rose Mary began exploring natural health in the late 90s.



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