By the way, doctor: Should I have seen a doctor sooner for a dog bite?

Published: September, 2009

Q. Recently, my dog bit me on the hand. When I showed up at my doctor's office several days later, he told me I had waited too long. Should I have gone to the doctor sooner?

A. A pet would bite the hand that feeds it? It happens every day, and, unfortunately, even beloved cats and dogs carry bacteria in their mouths. When an animal's teeth penetrate the skin, the teeth can carry those bacteria beneath the surface, and a more serious infection may occur if the bite is near a tendon, bone, or joint.

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