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Rose English
10-14-2009, 11:35 PM
If my character receives one sharp bite on her hand, from a medium sized mongrel (not a dangerous breed) who is warning her to keep away from him; what kinds of injury is she most likely to get? How would it be treated? How painful would it be?

I'm thinking she would have had her hand outstretched, slowly approaching from the front to pet his head, so the bite lands somewhere between her thumb and ring finger. For the purposes of my story I need the bite to be bad enough to temporarily prevent her from manipulating items, and to be inconvenient until healed.

I googled the subject of dog bites and was pretty horrified by what I read and the images I began to see. Couldn't do that anymore.

So all comments or input welcome :tongue and gratefully received.

backslashbaby
10-14-2009, 11:46 PM
I have been bitten so many times [long stories] :D So, yes, bitten on the hand...

Usually that'll be a puncture wound or two, and won't be stitched. It could break a bone (my pinky knuckle). They are sore as hell for a while, regardless. They feel like a very bad bruise and are about as limiting as a bad sprain, because you move your hand-parts so much.

HTH :)

The no-stitching is what docs'll try to do to avoid infection.

backslashbaby
10-14-2009, 11:49 PM
Oh, treatment is antibiotics, always. Maybe a cream, too, but just keep it clean.

Jeanette
10-14-2009, 11:52 PM
Hey, this just happened to my daughter last Friday. Our golden retriever puppy (6 mos) was gnawing on her first beef rib bone. We told our kid, don't reach near the puppy when she's eating. Somehow, the kid dropped her crayon near the puppy. The puppy gave that low growl - the don't you dare think about taking my bone - but the kid kept reaching. The puppy bit the kid on her right hand - one puncture wound at the base of her thumb and a larger bite above it. My kid's screams were pretty bag. Took her to the doctor - bad but not enough for stitches - they actually smooshed the bite to see if the edges of the wound met - they did which I guess was good and incredibly painful for the kid. They poured the brown iodine stuff over it, dressed it with Neosporin and gauze, and then gave us a prescription for amoxicillan for 5 days. Went back home to see all the drops of blood leading from the site of the incident to the bathroom. Kid said it hurt pretty bad - that she couldn't bend her fingers. A part of that was also fear.

Oh - and we had to fill out a form required by the city for all dog bites. Our puppy know has a record. It does ask if the bite was provoked or if the dog was sick, etc.

We felt like crap parents that night - we left the kid alone for only a minute and then... KABOOM.

Hope this helps some.

StephanieFox
10-15-2009, 04:10 AM
#1: There are no 'dangerous breeds,' just dangerous individual dogs. Puppies can bite because they are exploring their world and haven't learned the difference between biting hard and playing.

#2: I was bitten on the arm as a kid and got three stiches. It didn't hurt much. A couple of weeks ago, I was wrestling with my bulldog and I bumped my hand against her tooth. She hadn't bitten down it was just a bump, but she's got very large, very hard teeth. I broke a blood vessel and it hurt a little, but put ice on it and it was OK.

The poor dog was freaked out.

Puma
10-15-2009, 05:25 AM
We always make sure we can take bones away from our dogs. We had a fairly new dog (young) and my husband talked to it, petted it, and reached for the bone. He got nailed at the base of his little finger to the tune of several stitches (very sharp teeth - they ripped). Puma

stuckupmyownera
10-15-2009, 11:58 AM
I was bitten on the hand when I was a kid - exactly your scenario. It got me across the bases of my four fingers. No puncture wounds but it was pretty bruised and hurt a lot!

Ellefire
10-15-2009, 02:28 PM
I was bitten on the hand by my mums dog twice. She was a medium sized mongrel. First time was accidental, I got between her and another dog. The second time was after she was knocked over by a car. Neither time required stitches, but I was taken for a tetanus booster after the second. Plenty painful, and they scarred a little.

Rose English
10-15-2009, 08:11 PM
Usually that'll be a puncture wound or two, and won't be stitched. It could break a bone (my pinky knuckle). They are sore as hell for a while, regardless. They feel like a very bad bruise and are about as limiting as a bad sprain, because you move your hand-parts so much.

HTH :)

The no-stitching is what docs'll try to do to avoid infection.


Oh, treatment is antibiotics, always. Maybe a cream, too, but just keep it clean.

Didn't think about antibiotics, thank you! If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take to heal? PM me if you prefer.


The puppy bit the kid on her right hand - one puncture wound at the base of her thumb and a larger bite above it. My kid's screams were pretty bag. Took her to the doctor - bad but not enough for stitches - they actually smooshed the bite to see if the edges of the wound met - they did which I guess was good and incredibly painful for the kid. They poured the brown iodine stuff over it, dressed it with Neosporin and gauze, and then gave us a prescription for amoxicillan for 5 days....

Oh - and we had to fill out a form required by the city for all dog bites. Our puppy know has a record. It does ask if the bite was provoked or if the dog was sick, etc.

Details I can use here, thank you!


#1: There are no 'dangerous breeds,' just dangerous individual dogs.

The reason why I specified not a 'dangerous breed' is because as I understand it certain breeds (I mean rottweilers and pitbulls specifically) have the innate tendancy to lock their jaws on biting; often resulting in more severe injuries. I'm making a generalisation here, I know.


We always make sure we can take bones away from our dogs. We had a fairly new dog (young) and my husband talked to it, petted it, and reached for the bone. He got nailed at the base of his little finger to the tune of several stitches (very sharp teeth - they ripped). Puma

Yes, this is one of the things I'm trying to work out, the likelihood of her needing hospital treatment. I suppose if she pulls away the puncture wounds become tears = stitches?


I was bitten on the hand by my mums dog twice. She was a medium sized mongrel. First time was accidental, I got between her and another dog. The second time was after she was knocked over by a car. Neither time required stitches, but I was taken for a tetanus booster after the second. Plenty painful, and they scarred a little.

The only dog who ever bit me was a miniature doberman. Didn't break the skin but it did feel very bruised and stiff; I had purple teeth marks on my hand. I really needed to know if a larger dog would automatically, by virtue of the size of their jaws, inflict more damage.

It sounds as though I can realistically make this bite as severe or mild as I need it to be. Thank you. Reps to everyone.

backslashbaby
10-15-2009, 08:50 PM
Yeah, the dogs who bit me were not the nippy type. Bigger teeth, more strength in their jaws, so they clamped hard without meaning to be that rough.

Ripping = stitches, definitely. Although they still try to do as few as possible because stitching up an infection is apparently a bad thing. Oh, I got a new tetanus shot once too, yes.

I think they were quite sore for as long as a week. Definitely a few days, at least. If you need it to hurt longer, have it hit a knuckle. I don't know why they are so sore, but they do hurt more than simple cuts, for instance.

auntybug
10-15-2009, 10:04 PM
I have a lovely Y shaped scar from such a bite. Its low on my hand between my thumb and pointer finger. I was 10 and trying to comfort my neighbors dog after it was hit by a car. It tore my skin in a big flap but didn't require stitches. It was just a few layers deep and I don't remember it even bleeding that bad. This was 30 years ago - triple antibiotic creams weren't in every drawer in the house then. I believe we used soap & water, several comments were made how a dig bite is cleaner than a human bite & a band aid & kiss were applied :D I remember my mom calling & making sure he had all his shots.

He was 35 lbs or so - 100% long hair mutt ;)

Rose English
10-16-2009, 05:17 PM
I believe we used soap & water, several comments were made how a dig bite is cleaner than a human bite & a band aid & kiss were applied :D

Thank you for the info auntybug. My husband's step-mother is fond of saying "let the dog lick it!" regarding cuts and scrapes, she believes dog saliva has healing properties.

She should see the stuff my dog eats when we're out walking :evil

roonil_wazlib
10-18-2009, 02:51 AM
The reason why I specified not a 'dangerous breed' is because as I understand it certain breeds (I mean rottweilers and pitbulls specifically) have the innate tendancy to lock their jaws on biting; often resulting in more severe injuries. I'm making a generalisation here, I know.

Actually, no dog's jaws 'lock.' I have a pittie myself and, believe me, I've fielded questions about her ability to 'lock' and kill. Some dog breeds are simply much more stubborn than others and APBTs (American Pit Bull Terriers) are very, very focused. When they bite down, they rarely let go without a fight. My pup has never bitten or threaten to bite anything or anyone in the five years I've had her, but I learned how to get her off if she does wind up in that predicament (or we wind up on the receiving end!). An APBT's jaws are constructed like any other breed's, but they can be very strong, stubborn and focused, all qualities that have leant themselves to the 'locking jaw' myth.

(Excuse any grammar or spelling mistakes - it's almost quittin time!)

JrFFKacy
10-18-2009, 06:36 AM
I was bitten by a Bichon Frise I was grooming last winter. The dog had had several bad experiences with a rough, aggressive groomer who apparently yelled at dogs while working on them. The last straw was when the lady cut the dogs paw with a pair of scissors, then left the bleeding dog with the owner while she went to the vet to pick up some blood stopper (professional of her huh?). Anyhow, the owner fired the groomer and asked me to groom her dog.

When I arrived at the house (owner was elderly and couldn't get around easily, so she asked me to do a house call), the dog greeted me and was totally happy and loveable, as bichons usually are. She mouthed my hand a few times when I was bathing her, then snarled a bit when I blow dried her. I now can't remember exactly what I was trying to do, (I was being very cautious and gentle, but the dog was obviously stressed from her previous experience) but the dog spun around and 'locked' (I know we agreed that doesn't happen, but it felt like it did) onto my hand. I had to almost shake her off. The bite didn't draw much blood, maybe a few drops. But I had a pretty neat imprint of the dog's upper jaw in the top of my hand and a puncture mark in the middle of my palm. It felt really bruised for few days. I didn't go to the doctor, or take anything for it. Just used soap and water.

Suprisingly, the dog became happy and loveable the moment I put the grooming tools away. It was just plain scared of being groomed, thanks to the former groomer.

A friend of mine, a guy who absolutely loves dogs (besides me, he's my pup's favourite person) got bitten by his sister's dog (half-grown crossbred pup right now) a few months ago. I'm not sure what provoked it (accidental I'm sure), but my friend had a decent set of teethmarks on his arm. Didn't look serious though, looked more like a bunch of needle pricks.

Canotila
10-19-2009, 08:26 AM
The reason why I specified not a 'dangerous breed' is because as I understand it certain breeds (I mean rottweilers and pitbulls specifically) have the innate tendancy to lock their jaws on biting; often resulting in more severe injuries. I'm making a generalisation here, I know.


Please oh please, don't repeat this any more. Locking jaws is a fallacy and a myth that many innocent dogs have paid for with their lives. No dog, be it individual animal or breed has the ability to "lock jaws". They are all anatomically the same, the same joints, muscles, bones, etc. and even have comparable grip strength. The difference is that some working breeds are made to be more tenacious, and when you have a dog (like one of the bull dogs) who is bred to fight...bulls...they are bred to not care that a 2000 lb animal just stomped on their legs and smashed them, or that someone is bashing them over the head with a lead pipe, or they've been gored by a wild hog, etc. They simply have a very high pain threshold and strong drive to do their job, which is catch and not let go no matter what. For what it's worth, a friend of mine hunts Russian boar and they use a pit bull for their catch dog. He is excellent at it, and loves his job. Very sweet dog too.

To answer your original question, our obedience trainer was bitten in class by a fear aggressive dog while she was trying to get a muzzle on it. It was a very quick snap and slash. Over in a fraction of a second. The dog was probably about 50 lbs, and some kind of scruffy mix breed dog.

Anyway, she had to get 9 stitches and couldn't use her hand very well for about a year because of nerve damage. The injury was in the palm of her hand, between her thumb and forefinger.

Keyan
10-19-2009, 11:00 AM
One of my friends was bitten by her very small very fluffy very neurotic dog in circumstances I don't quite understand. (She said it was a "misunderstanding.") He *chomped* on her hand, chewed it up. She had to have extensive treatment, and apparently took months (maybe around a year) to regain full function.

Rose English
10-20-2009, 05:32 AM
...They simply have a very high pain threshold and strong drive to do their job, which is catch and not let go no matter what....



So it's behavioural rather than physiological. I stand corrected, thank you.