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Unhappy Dog bite on thumb; concerns - October 23rd 2017, 12:48 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I'm quite scared, after having obtained a bite from my untrained, 2-year-old Golden Retriever just this Thursday, at 5PM. I was trying to retrieve paper from him (I should've just let him chew it up), and he growled at me quite aggressively a few times. Then, the final time, his tooth dug right into my thumb as he attempted to retrieve the paper, piercing and shattering my thumbnail and making what I can only assume to be an ugly gash. I've only seen it once and that was when I first obtained it.

Blood spilled everywhere. I screamed, and cried, calling for "HELP!" inside my empty house, but to no avail, as my left and right hands got soaked in red bodily fluid. I limped to my computer and quickly messaged family about the matter, and rushed over to a neighbor, who covered my wound with tissue. A visit to my grandparents, some washing, and bandaging later, the wound was unwrapped and bandaged again, and my parents decided I needed to be taken to the hospital in town. So I went just with my dad, at 10PM, as he rambled on about that 'stupid' dog. I didn't get service until 1AM and didn't get out until 2AM, and the doctor decided to put me on antibiotics/ibuprofen. I couldn't get stitches, or I didn't need them.

I'm worried that this will never heal over without further operation, scared that this may affect me for the rest of my life. In two days, I also have to let air at it, and I don't want to look at it during that time. What should I do to distract myself (something that doesn't require me to peer at it?)...

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Re: Dog bite on thumb; concerns - October 23rd 2017, 10:30 AM

Recently, I injuried my finger as well by my dog (not a bite) but I sprained it. What I did that was helpful was to not use my finger as much. I know this can be hard. This was your thumb so you can limit things you do with your thumb, which is good. When you are outside, I would cover it so any dirt wouldn't get into your thumb. Inside when you are in your house, let it air out. If you are worried at night when you sleep, you can always cover it.

Wash your hands normally when you come back inside from being outside and remove any band-aid. Try to keep your thumb dry if you can. When you wash your hands, gently wash your thumb with mild soap. You can also put Neosporin on it as this can help heal things and with any infection. Keep taking what the doctor wants you to do, follow all his instructions.

As for distractions you could try. If you enjoy reading, you can read some books. You can also watch TV. These two things are distracting as you are focused on those things. Some other things you can try. If you have a local mall you can always check out stores and see what they have and Christmas is coming so you can also make a list of things you would like.

Anyone can be scared after our pet bites us. Something that I do with my dog (he has food aggression) that I want to remove or take from him, for instance, paper. I would get a treat or food that he likes (that is safe to give dogs) and call him over to give it to him (make sure there is a good distance from where your dog will be and what you need to grab). Then, I can grab what he was eating/chewing on. I usually don't give the treat right away, I have him sit or lay down, to ensure he is calm. This might be something you could try if you are trying to remove something from your dog that he shouldn't have.

I hope this was helpful, I hope your thumb has a speedy recovery.


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Re: Dog bite on thumb; concerns - October 24th 2017, 12:23 AM

Hey there,

It sounds like this might have been a case of a bit of inter-species miscommunication. Your dog growled at you as a warning, which is actually a very good sign - it's much better to have a dog who growls than one who doesn't, because that way they're giving you a chance to stop or change whatever behaviour you're doing that's upsetting them. You might like to mention this to your dad, since you said he was calling your dog stupid. In fact your dog was being quite respectful by growling instead of just biting first. When you're feeling better you might want to think about doing some training with your dog, e.g. training him to drop an object on command.

As for the actual injury, I've had something similar happen. I was playing catch with my dog, and we both went for the ball at the same time. Her tooth hit my thumb, and I think it's obvious who came off second best. I was worried she'd done serious damage because it was bleeding a lot and the nail was ripped, and it hurt. But I went to the doctor and got it cleaned and bandaged, and by the time I took the bandage off it looked a lot better. Assuming your injury is healing well, it will likely look a lot better when you take your bandage off because your body will have recovered from the shock and have started to heal the wound. And, of course, it you think it's not healing well or you have concerns about it, please don't hesitate to see a doctor. And remember to follow all of the instructions you were given about how to take care of the wound while it's healing.

As for what to do when you take the bandage off, perhaps you could do something that doesn't require you using your hands (e.g. watching television) and sit/lie down in a way that means you don't really see your hand. You could also potentially wear a long-sleeved shirt/jumper/sweater/something like that with sleeves that fall fairly low, so that the wound isn't really covered (especially when you're standing up) but you don't have to look at it.

Hopefully this helped a bit; overall just remember that what an injury looks like when you first get it isn't necessarily an accurate indication of what it will be like after it's started healing, and that if you follow your doctor's instructions it should heal well. Best of luck with it!



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