How to Treat a Rash From a Dog Scratch

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Animal bites and scratches can carry disease.
Animal bites and scratches can carry disease. (Image: dog image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

If you're ever scratched by a dog, your skin may become red, raised and itchy. This inflammatory response is called allergic dermatitis, and it occurs when your immune system reacts to direct contact with a pet you're allergic to. Your body will produce an allergy-causing antibody that results in a rash. If you're ever scratched by a dog, follow these precautions to make sure your rash doesn't become infected or spread bacteria to other parts of the body. Even a family pet can carry disease, so it's important to seek medical attention if your scratch is serious.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel or gauze bandage
  • Soap and water

Apply pressure to your scratch if it is bleeding. Use a clean towel or bandage until the bleeding stops completely.

Wash the area with soap and water. Hold the area under running water for several minutes.

Dry the area and cover it with a clean towel or gauze. Do not administer an antiseptic or anything else to the wound.

Seek immediate medical care if you were scratched by a wild, oddly behaving or stray dog. If you were bitten by your own dog, make sure that your dog is up-to-date with all immunizations.

Note the location of the dog, but do NOT try to capture the dog yourself. The dog may need to be observed for rabies.

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