Friendly Dog Syndrome

September 14, 2005
William B. Wadlington, MD
William B. Wadlington, MD

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

Dr William B. Wadlington of Nashville, Tenn, irrigated the bites with saline and gave the boy an intramuscular injection of ceftriazone (500 mg). Amoxicillin/clavulanate twice daily 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 he felt fine. Follow-up at 1 week was uneventful. The parents had received assurance from the dog's owners that the animal had been immunized for rabies.

Dr Wadlington remarks that every year at least 10 children die from dog bites.1 Most biting dogs are not strays and are known to the victim and his or her family.

REFERENCES:1. Sacks JJ, Lockwood R, Hornreich J, Sattin RW. Fatal dog attacks, 1989-1994. Pediatrics. 1996;97:891-895.