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Preventing Infection After Dog Bite

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In health care since 1977, but keenly aware of Western medicine's shortcomings, Rose Mary began exploring natural health in the late 1990s.

Mint Julep Masque by Queen Helene is a great item to maintain in your first aid kit. It can prevent infection from dog bite and other puncture wounds. It will also reduce inflammation.

My dachshund had a severely herniated disc in his back. I tried some homeopathics with him before taking him in for surgery in December 2009. During the time he and I were house-bound before surgery, we slept only a few hours at a time. He was tired. I was tired. Early one morning, I tried to move one of his front feet to get him to lie down and rest, and he bit me. Since he had essentially no control over his back legs at that time, I was totally disrupting his balance and stability. It was really stupid of me, but as I said, we were both tired.

Sebastian after Back Surgery

Sebastion post-op from decompression after T12-T13 disk herniation.

Sebastion post-op from decompression after T12-T13 disk herniation.

Dog Bite Wounds

Being an Occupational Therapist doing hand therapy for my last 6 1/2 years of my Air Force career, I had treated several clients with infections after dog bites. These clients were referred from the hand surgeon and needed to be seen 3 to 5 times a week for several weeks. I did not want to have this kind of inconvenience! Besides, I still had my little man to take care of.

My wounds were small, and clearly would not require stitches. I had a small laceration-like wound on the inside (toward the middle finger) of my right index finger. On the palmer surface of my right index finger, toward the thumb side, I had 2 bruising puncture wounds. I had another small laceration-like wound to the top of my left hand.

I asked my brother to go to Sun Harvest (now Sprouts) and ask one of the clerks what I could do to prevent infection after dog bite puncture wounds. The clerk suggested salt water soaks and Helene Curtis Mint Julep Masque. If you have more extensive wounds, you of course would need to be seen by a medical provider.

Implimenting the Plan

I used about ½ cup of Epsom’s Salts in about 2 quarts of warm water to soak my hands about 3 times a day. I soaked in cold water, similar to contrast baths, or used a Karo Syrup cold pack afterward to prevent further swelling. I then used a Q-tip to apply the masque. After handwashing, the masque still essentially adhered to the open wounds, and did not need re-application.

Good Results

My index finger on my right hand was 5 mm bigger at the base compared to my left, and 7 mm bigger at the distal joint, near the nail. After 2 days using Epsom salts and the masque, the redness (indicating inflammation) around the wounds had subsided. By the 3rd day the swelling had gone down and I could make a full fist again. I stopped the protocol about day 5, but still applied the masque about once a day. By 2 ½ weeks, the skin was completely healed on my wounds.

A week or so later, I had a routine follow-up with my Naturopath. He told me I could use ledum 30C after dog bite wounds or other puncture wounds, 9 drops per day, or 200C, 1 to 2 times per day for 5 days. This is also good for insect bites. For prevention of infections, including tetanus, he recommended 200C, one time per week, for 2 or 3 doses. Of course, you should discuss this with your Alternative Medicine provider. I am relating this just to provide information that there are options for those of us who have embraced alternative and holistic medicine options, and prefer to avoid prescription drugs.

Sebastian Getting Out of the Way

Sebastian crawled into the nightstand in a hotel room

Sebastian crawled into the nightstand in a hotel room

© 2009 rmcrayne

Thanks for reading!

David Everston on June 08, 2018:

very interesting,

David Everston

Holle Abee from Georgia on April 10, 2012:

Excellent info, as always. I've had my share of dog bites - most of them accidents - but they still hurt! lol. Voted up!

hanwillingham on September 08, 2011:

Very useful hub. Thanks for sharing.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on August 21, 2011:

Camille, the Mint Julep is great to keep on hand. My sister also used it when she got stabbed in the face by a plant. The whole side of her face was swollen. In 2 days, the red, swollen area was about a 1 1/2 inch circle.

Camille Harris from SF Bay Area on August 07, 2011:

I'm going to look for the Mint Julep mask as I sustained a dog bite to the face about a week ago. I might also add that tea tree oil (sparingly) mixed with vitamin E oil is good to apply post antibiotics! Great Hub!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 27, 2011:

Thanks Sun-Girl. We now use the Mint Julep for any kind of puncture wound, bug bites, etc. My sister got poked in the face by a plant while landscaping. Whole side of her face was swollen, but went down to 2 inch ring after 48 hours with Mint Julep.

Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 17, 2011:

Thanks rmcrayne for this great and wonderful article you published in here because dog bite is actually sounding like an abomination in my people ears but so much enjoyed how you presented this work

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on July 23, 2010:

Thanks rexacrouch. I completed the survey.

rexacrouch on July 19, 2010:

How often do little dogs bite? Help us find out with this short 6 question survey.

Thanks!

www.surveymonkey.com/s/DogOwnership

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on February 06, 2010:

frogy I just went to Sun Harvest and asked for suggestions for preventing infection. This protocol was something the clerk personally vouched for.

I may write a small piece on my trial of homeopathics with my dog. Also my personal experience with Alternative Medicine, supervised by an experienced provider. Finally, I plan to write about my experience in alternative strategies and philosophy in diet and nutrition.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on February 03, 2010:

What was considered helpful in the Helen Curtis mask?

Ledum was great, but would Hepar sulph also have worked for you? I have myself taken a Himalaya brand product of mushroom combo plus other herbs as anti-infective help.

Would like more of this type hub from you - and thanks for sharing this story!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on January 01, 2010:

Yes ethel, this is the kind of info you hope not to need, but good to know for when you do need it. Thanks for reading. I always appreciate it so much that you let me know that you dropped by.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on January 01, 2010:

I hope I will not need this info :) It is very useful though, just in case