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I always have pet dogs in my house. Day in & day out my dog bites me playfully; sometimes while cleaning his teeth, he closes his mouth suddenly to cut my finger. These happened for quite long since my first dog.

This was the bite one year back

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Normally, I wash my hands with carbolic soaps & then leave them.

Though they are vaccinised, I often take a booster of tetanus. But the doctor said it is not always necessary to take tetanus booster every time it bites or scratches. I don't know why he told so.

My main question is: Can I apply dettol or savlon in these cuts? Can I use band-aids on them?

Also, is there any possible explanation of why the doctor told not to take booster all the time after all they are not hazardous drugs, are they?

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    Don't know why it got downvote. Could the downvoter please show some modesty to express his cuase for downvoting? Simply nonsensical & abuse of downvoting. – user1893 Nov 14 '15 at 2:13
  • @YviDe - Please do not answer in comments. – anongoodnurse Nov 16 '15 at 23:37
  • Please be civil. If you do not know why someone downvoted, how do you know it's nonsensical or abusive? See Do you really want a comment with your down vote?. – anongoodnurse Nov 16 '15 at 23:40
  • @anongoodnurse: Sorry for that. I really apologise for that. I actually got quite annoyed when saw the downvoted. I wanted to know what the case is so that I can modify my query. I know downvoting with comment often leads to vengeful voting but that doesn't mean you just downvote if you don't like. Please at-least tell what made you do so so that I can make the question better. – user1893 Nov 17 '15 at 2:41
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Tetanus Vaccine If you get a tetanus shot every five years you are good to go. The recommended dose of tetanus toxoid (vaccine) is every ten years but since:

In a small percentage of individuals, antitoxin levels fall below the minimal protective level before 10 years have elapsed, to ensure adequate protective antitoxin levels, persons who sustain a wound that is other than clean and minor should receive a tetanus booster if more than 5 years have elapsed since their last dose

(Taken from http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html chapter on tetanus)

As for your wounds, it is better to wash them with simple soaps and water and leave them to heal without band-aids. The principle is: use solutions that do not cause further damage to the skin and that can be applied to clean most residues and dead tissue with mechanic force rather than chemical action. The most used in Hospital settings is saline solution (H2O plus NaCl at 0.9&), we use it with a syringe so the water comes with pressure.

Here are the general recommendations for wound management/treatment:

  • Apply direct pressure to any bleeding wound, to control hemorrhage. Tourniquets are rarely indicated since they may reduce tissue viability.
  • Examine wounds for gross contamination, devitalized tissue, and foreign bodies.
  • Remove constricting rings or other jewelry from injured body part.
  • Cleanse the wound periphery with soap and sterile water or available solutions, and provide anesthetics and analgesia whenever possible.
  • Irrigate wounds with saline solution using a large bore needle and syringe. If unavailable, bottled water is acceptable.
  • Leave contaminated wounds, bites, and punctures open. Wounds that are sutured in an unsterile environment, or are not cleansed,irrigated, and debrided appropriately, are at high risk for infection due to contamination. Wounds that are not closed primarily (sutured) because of high risk of infection should be considered for delayed primary closure by experienced medical staff using sterile technique.
  • Remove devitalized tissue and foreign bodies prior to repair as they may increase the incidence of infection
  • Clip hair close to the wound, if necessary. Shaving of hair is not necessary, and may increase the chance of wound infection.
  • Cover wounds (other than contaminated wounds, bites, and punctures) with dry dressing; deeper wounds may require packing with saline soaked gauze and subsequent coverage with a dry bulky dressing.

http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/emergwoundhcp.asp

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  • I'm new at stack exchange so not really sure about what you are asking. However, here is the CDC/ lists of studies and guidelines on the duration of antibody titers (protection against the toxin) and specifics of the tetanus vaccine. cdc.gov/tetanus/pubs-tools/publications.html (pink book a better resource for healthcare professionals): cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html And here is one of the many guidelines for wound management (usually common practice) that recommends both washing with soap and water and to leave them open. bit.ly/1WRQu1I – Paola Nov 14 '15 at 6:16
  • The recommended dose of tetanus toxoid (vaccine) is every ten years but since "In a small percentage of individuals, antitoxin levels fall below the minimal protective level before 10 years have elapsed, to ensure adequate protective antitoxin levels, persons who sustain a wound that is other than clean and minor should receive a tetanus booster if more than 5 years have elapsed since their last dose" (Taken from cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html chapter on tetanus) – Paola Nov 14 '15 at 6:25
  • @Paola those are some good sources. Can you edit them into your answer? Also, why do you think just washing with soap and healing without band aids is better? – YviDe Nov 14 '15 at 14:00
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    Hi again, guys. I've edited my answer, hopefully to include more details and make the reasoning clearer. Thanks for your feedback. YviDe, the band-aid part of my answer is a combination of current recommendations and my own experience as a doctor. Several patients tend to consider that the wound covered by a band-aid becomes impermeable to everything and I've seen several contaminated wounds that were not noticed because the band-aid was left in too long. With proper use (frequent change, dry conditions) they are OK, but definitely not needed in contaminated, minor or bite-type wounds. – Paola Nov 16 '15 at 9:24
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    Hi, Paola, and welcome to the site. When people ask about answers in comments, it usually indicates that there is something in the answer that is unclear. If you think it's important enough to address, it's better to edit it into your answer. Whatever you choose, this is a welcome answer. +1 – anongoodnurse Nov 16 '15 at 23:34

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