General Question

gemiwing's avatar

Healing time for a dog bite?

Asked by gemiwing (14708points) May 12th, 2010

I was bitten by a dog (long story) Sunday on my thumb. I’ve been needled, checked and have punched my antibiotic punchcard already so no worries there.

Little fella got me right on the knuckle of the thumb and I’m having some swelling that’s making it difficult to move or use my digit. I like having opposable thumbs and would really like to know how much longer I can expect swelling to keep me one-thumbed.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any tips beyond hot water (because that stings a bit)?

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4 Answers

loser's avatar

If the swelling is getting worse, you should have it checked out again. If any germs got between tendon nd the sheath that surrounds it, no amount of antibiotics can get to it. Seriously, that kind of infection gets worse very quickly and can cause the loss of a hand.

Dog bites can take a very long time to heal and often scar. You might want to get some vitamin E oil.

Hope you’re all better soon!

Tropical_Willie's avatar


Epsom salts in warm water, will help the wound area. When younger (much younger ) I was bitten once on each hand, a couple a years apart. Tetanus shots and dogs in quarantine fro two weeks. Doctor had me in Epsom salts every two hours for two weeks.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Tropical_Willie has it right, I have been bitten numerous times and soaking in Epsom salts is the best. Healing time differs according to each person and how deep the bite is, so many factors, but the soaking will definitely help with healing and preventing infection.

I have had several doctors tell me it is not important to worry about tetanus shots being up to date for a dog bite. Have you all had different advice?

gemiwing's avatar

@rooeytoo My doctor told me it’s pretty much the standard and gave me a booster. The Nurse at the Animal Control Center said she did the right thing. Could just be an ‘in case someone gets lawsuit happy’ thing or just that it’s better to be safe? Not sure, really. I also got two different types of antibiotic.

@all- Thanks for your help. I’m going to soak in warm (ish) epsom salts as soon as the storms pass.

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