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Article
April 2, 1982

Management of Dog Bite Wounds

JAMA. 1982;247(13):1812. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320380018020

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Abstract

To the Editor.—  I read the recent article on the management of dog bite wounds (1980;244:2327) and the resulting letters (1981;246:833-834). As a plastic surgeon, much of my experience with such injuries has come in patients who have been treated initially by someone else and then had either an outright infection or an unsatisfactory result. Most of the errors in dog bite treatment do not come from a failure to trim the skin edges properly but from the failure to take into account the length of a dog's tooth. The teeth carry the inoculum deep into the wound, and it is a failure to treat contamination at these depths that frequently results in clinical infection.When I treat a dog bite, I take care to anesthetize it well enough that I can explore and locate the path and then irrigate it well. I close most of them primarily and infection

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