Bite Inuries: "Friendly Dog" Syndrome

September 2, 2005
William B. Wadlington, MD

The wounds on the back of this boy's head resulted from an encounter with his neighbor's dog. The youngster's anxious parents brought him in for evaluation 1 hour after he was bitten.

The wounds on the back of this boy's head resulted from an encounter with his neighbor's dog. The youngster's anxious parents brought him in for evaluation 1 hour after he was bitten. The bites were irrigated with saline, and the boy was given an intramuscular injection of ceftriazone. Amoxicillin-clavulanate was prescribed to prevent infection with streptococci, staphylococci, Pasteurella organisms, and anaerobes. A booster dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids was given.

At reexamination 3 days later, the child was afebrile, there was no purulent discharge from the healing wounds, and he said that he felt fine. Follow-up at 1 week was uneventful. The parents were assured by the dog's owners that the animal had been immunized for rabies.

Every year, at least 10 children die of dog bites.1 Most biting dogs are not strays and are known to the victim and his or her family.

(Case and photograph courtesy of William B. Wadlington, MD.)

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