Posted by: Colleen | 2009-07-21

Tetanus / Dog Bite

Hi Doc - last Monday late afternoon (a week ago) I was bitten just below the knuckles on my left hand by a Maltese! I went to my GP and within an hour had a Tetanus Vaccination and he also prescribed antibiotics and some tablets to calm me down / reduce my adrenalin as I was also very stressed out from being busy at work. I finished my course of antibiotics on Saturday morning. I didn' t really notice my arm being sore after having the Vaccination, however since last night, the area just around the needle site seems very tender - is there any reason this would only happen a week later? Also, the bite was cleaned and dressed (with ointment) and he told me to keep it dry until last Wednesday morning when I could take the dressing off. I did this for a few days but because it was still quite sore and had a few ' yellow'  areas, I have been continually putting Polysporin Ointment on twice to three times per day either with or without a dressing / plaster. It is now healing but still has a small ' yellow'  spot and is still quite sore although the area of the actual bite is healing and getting smaller. It seems as if there is slight infection in the bite but how would this be possible after taking a week' s course of antibiotics? It seems as if it' s just taking it' s time to heal from the ' bottom'  up - I am 54 and my skin is very thin from menopause, hence I think the bite going quite deep down to the bone and veins. Your comments would be appreciated. Thank-you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Colleen
The tetanus injection can cause a bit of inflammation in the muscle - so if not red, I don't think you have to worry about it. Animal bites tend to always get infection, even sometimes with antibiotic medication and you have been doing the right thing by treating it with antibiotic ointment - you can keep the plaster on as it keeps the area soft and prevents a crust forming that keeps the pus inside. If the hand is not swollen and red, you can continue with current treatment
dr Bets

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