Man’s best friend. That’s what they call dogs-and it’s so true. They are wonderful creatures, loyal, beautiful and noble. (Even the chirping, seemingly annoying little Chihuahua if you remove it from its teen-starlet master.) Dogs give back so much more than they take. Food and walking are duties, of that there is no doubt, yet the love and affection that they shower you with makes up for all that. Many days you even look forward to walking them. It’s just you and your furry buddy out for an adventurous stroll. Bites, however infrequent as they are, invite a visit to a walk in clinic.
Most dogs are well-behaved, healthy and happy-but depending on where you live there are exceptions. If in a city, there are the bred-for-balls Pitt Bull. If in the countryside, the neglected hungry hound. These are the dogs that bite and these are the dogs that send you to the walk in clinic. A walk in clinic is a facility with experience in just this type of non-life threatening injury.
Approximately seventy five million dogs live in the United States-that’s a whole bunch of barking. Each year over eight hundred thousand people seek treatment for dog bites, many of these at a walk in clinic. The statistics state that it is children between the ages of five and nine who are bitten most often, although dog-bite victims run the gamut from young to old.
A dog bite victim needs to be taken away from the animal quickly to avoid further injury. Because dog bites can cause significant injury underneath the skin it is imperative to get a dog-bite victim to a walk in clinic or hospital depending on the severity of the bite.
There is a real threat of infection from dog bites. It may be true (in some ways) that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans, but when it comes to the tearing of flesh this commonly repeated adage goes out the window and a doctor climbs in! If possible, immediately find out the status of the dog’s inoculations and general health. If the dog has not been immunized for rabies it may be necessary to receive a rabies vaccination. This determination will be made at the urgent care clinic.
How can one avoid a dog bite and thus a visit to the walk in clinic? Well, most dog bites occur in the family situation. It is less common for a stray dog to attack someone unprovoked. Here are some tips to prevent dog bites in the home:
1. Do not approach a dog from behind quickly. Let the dog smell your hand before you pet it.
2. Choose a breed compatible with your family’s personality. Dog breeds also have personalities and it is important to do your research before adding a dog to your family.
3. Being social animals, dogs definitely benefit from a few lessons by a trainer. Invest in this to deepen the bond between family and pet.
Keep in mind that although a dog bite may cause a cosmetic injury, it is important to visit a walk in clinic in order to determine the injury underneath the obvious. An aloe skin cream can lesson a scar, but an underlying more serious injury is harder to handle.