Napa: (707) 377-1007

Benicia: (707) 377-1005

Sonoma: (707) 940-1001

Petaluma Coming Soon!

Workers Comp: (707) 750-5402


Federal Small Business Codes

CA Small Business Supplier: ID#0000187127
Cert ID: 2030501
National Minority Business ID: WR07769

Napa: (707) 377-1007

Benicia: (707) 377-1005

Sonoma: (707) 940-1001

Petaluma Coming Soon!

Workers Comp: (707) 750-5402


Federal Small Business Codes

CA Small Business Supplier: ID#0000187127
Cert ID: 2030501
National Minority Business ID: WR07769

Urgent Care Services

Dog Bite Treatment

In Benicia, Napa and Sonoma

When to See a Doctor for a Dog Bite

Dogs unfortunately bite for many reasons. They can be scared, protective of an owner, in pain, too excited, or not used to people or other animals. While not all dog bites are serious, assessing and treating bites promptly is essential to avoid later complications such as infections or rabies.

First, cleaning the bite thoroughly with soap and water is important to remove germs. After cleaning, it’s crucial to seek medical advice, especially if the wound is deep, there’s significant bleeding, or if you’re unsure about the dog’s vaccination history. 

At Urgent Care + TeleHealth, our medical professionals will assess the need for treatments like tetanus shots, antibiotics to prevent infection, or rabies vaccination if there’s a risk. Proper care after a dog bite can prevent serious health issues and ensure the wound heals properly.

Visit a Clinic in Napa, Benicia or Sonoma

Urgent Care + TeleHealth provides both video telehealth consultations and in-person clinic visits. For dog bites, we recommend visiting a clinic whenever possible.

Our goal is to make it easy to get treatment. We offer easy appointment scheduling online and always accept walk-ins. We are proud of our short wait times and great online reviews and will ensure that you can get care for your dog bite as quickly as possible. 

How We Help

  • Want advice immediately from home? Start with a video visit. You can connect without an app. Then follow-up later at a clinic.
  • We accept walk-ins! We encourage appointments, but you are welcome to see us without an appointment.
  • Our wait times are usually much shorter than visiting an emergency room. We’re much less expensive too.
  • We take most insurance plans including Medicare and Kaiser. See our full insurance list or call if you have coverage questions.
  • No insurance? We offer cash-pay discounts if you use your HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account).
  • We offer an easy online appointment system.
  • We’re proud of our excellent reviews. Check them out!

Urgent Care + TeleHealth is managed by Dr. Ian Ahwah, an emergency medicine physician with 25 years of clinical experience treating patients at urgent care and in area emergency rooms. Our doctors, medical providers and support staff treat you with dignity and protect your privacy.

Dr. Ian Ahwah, Emergency Medicine Physician

Brittany Bellows, PA, Clinical Manager

Dog Bite FAQ

In case a dog has just bitten you or anyone close to you, the first step in any kind of situation should be to not panic.

Here is a list of steps that you can follow for optimal care and first aid at home: 

Clean the Wound: 

Your priority should be to wash the wound gently with soap and water to help reduce the risk of infection.

Seek Medical Attention: 

Even if the bite seems minor, it is important to seek medical attention. Some bites may not appear serious initially but can later lead to complications. In addition, it is better to be safe than sorry! 

Report the Incident: 

Report the dog bite to the local animal control authorities. Provide as much information as possible about the dog and the incident.

Napa County Animal Services – (707) 253-4517.

Sonoma County Animal Services: (707) 565-7100, Tuesday-Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Solano County Animal Control:

Vallejo – Call (707)784-4733 – Solano County Sheriff’s Office  Animal Control
Benicia – Call (707)745-3412 – Benicia Police Depart. Non-Emergency

Document the Incident: 

Take photos of the wound and the location of the incident. Collect information from any witnesses who might have been present there at the time of the incident.

Contact the Dog Owner: 

If you know the dog owner, exchange contact information. It is essential to know the dog’s vaccination status.

Should I Visit Urgent Care for a Dog Bite?
It is recommended that you visit a clinic as soon as you can or begin with a telehealth video visit so that a provider can assess the severity of the bite and prescribe treatment.

It’s especially important to get prompt treatment if you don’t know about the dog that bit you and are unsure whether it has been vaccinated for rabies.

Remember, even small bites can cause problems later. It’s always best to get medical help right away to lower the chance of any issues. This way, you make sure you’ve done what you can to avoid complications.

How common are dog bites?
Dog bites are a significant health issue in the US, with millions of people being bitten each year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. annually. While not all bites are serious, around 800,000 of these do need medical care. Some dog bites can cause major injuries, infections, and rarely, death.

The good news is that dog bite incidents are becoming less common with time. In fact, there has been a significant decrease in reported bite incidents in major U.S. cities since 1972.

How can I tell if a dog bite is infected?
The signs of infection must be detected at an early stage before they get further complicated or even take a turn for the worse.

Here are some important danger signs that you need to be aware of:

Increased Redness and Swelling:
If there is redness and swelling around the bite increase in time, it may indicate a possible infection.

Pain and Discomfort:
One of the sure indicators of an infection can be persistent or progressively severe pain at the bite site.

Pus or Discharge:
If you experience discharges from the wound site, please let us know. If the discharge color is yellow or green, it could show an infection.

Symptoms of an infection include fever. A fever is a risk factor for dog bites; therefore, prompt medical attention should be sought if one develops a fever.

Red Streaks:
Red streaks running away from bites indicate lymphangitis and must be urgently seen by a doctor to help prevent its further spread.

Do I need antibiotics for a dog bite?
In many cases, healthcare professionals recommend antibiotics for dog bites to prevent or treat potential bacterial infections.

In addition, in the majority of cases, these antibiotics would be prescribed to you on the very same day that you visit the doctor for your evaluation of a dog bite. Your Urgent Care + TeleHealth provider will call in your prescription to a nearby pharmacy of your choice.

The decision to prescribe antibiotics depends on various factors, including the severity of the bite, the risk of infection, and the overall health of the person bitten.

If the bite is minor, and the wound is clean and not showing signs of infection, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor the wound without antibiotics.

However, if there is an increased risk of infection, such as a puncture wound or a bite on the hands or face, or if the dog’s vaccinations are unknown, antibiotics may be prescribed.

What are the signs of rabies in a dog bite?

Rabies is a serious viral infection that can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, including dogs. Rabies is relatively rare here in California because The State of California requires that dogs over 4 months of age in California be vaccinated for rabies. However, there is no statewide requirement for cats to be vaccinated for rabies. The majority of rabies cases reported in the U.S. today occur in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

Although Rabies is a life-threatening condition, timely post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can prevent the virus from progressing.

Some of the important signs of rabies in a dog may include:

  • Behavioral Changes: Aggression, restlessness, or unusually calm behavior.
  • Excessive Drooling: More than usual, drooling is also a danger sign to look out for.
  • Paralysis: Gradual paralysis, typically starting at the hind legs.
  • Disorientation and Agitation: Confusion, lack of coordination, and increased irritability.
  • Unexplained Biting: A tendency to bite without provocation.
  • Change in Vocalization: Unusual changes in barking or other vocalizations.

If you suspect a dog may have rabies, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. It is also important to note that not all dog bites lead to rabies, and the risk varies based on different factors.

Do I need a tetanus shot after a dog bite?
Seeking prompt medical attention after a dog bite is essential to assess the risk of infections and receive appropriate care.

At the very beginning of the incident, it is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional after a dog bite to determine if a tetanus shot is necessary.

However, at the same time, you must be aware of the fact that if you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years or if the wound is deep, contaminated, or involves a puncture; your healthcare provider may likely recommend a tetanus booster.

Tetanus shots serve an important role when it comes to preventing potentially serious complications, especially the ones that are contracted after a rabid animal’s bite.


What They Say

Friendly and efficient staff! Made an appointment the night before, easy process. Good location too.

I was greeted promptly and taken back in a timely manner. Both the assistant and the PA were friendly and professional. I’m very happy with the care I received.

Really nice people there and very professional services. I highly recommend!

Come On In

We take out the stress out of medical visits by welcoming patients either by easy online appointment, video visit or walk-in.