Health & Spirit

Dog-bite prevention and treatment

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In the 1976 film, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again," Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) checks into a hotel. As he gets his "rheum" key, he spies a dog a few feet away. "Does your dog bite?" he asks the proprietor. "No." he replies. But when the inspector reaches down to pet the dog, it bites him. "I thought you said your dog does not bite," he queries. The proprietor replies, "That is not my dog."

It's estimated that overall there are around 4.7 million dog bite incidents in the U.S. annually, many minor. But each day about 1,000 Americans need emergency care for serious dog bites.

To avoid a dog bite, follow the Pink Panther Rules.

--Don't approach a dog you don't know.

--Always address the dog's owner first before reaching toward it.

--Stand sideways and let the dog sniff the back of your hand.

--If you're seriously attacked, drop to the ground, curl into a ball, tuck your head into your chest and put your hands and arms over your ears and neck.

If you or someone you're with is bitten, if the bite's not too deep or severe, clean and disinfect it thoroughly. Experts at Penn State Children's Hospital believe the risk of infection is only 5 to 15 percent. Rabies is rare, and since most dog bites occur between dogs and people familiar with their owners, it's usually possible to verify a dog's vaccination history. For any deep wound or an injury from an untagged dog, go to the emergency room.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Sarah's Scribbles Working it Out Mike Lester Ballard Street DeFlocked Aunty Acid