DR. WALLACE: I was playing with our family dog a few months ago when he accidentally bit my finger when I tried to remove a ball from his mouth! My mom washed my finger with some soapy water and put some hydrogen peroxide on the bite. She told me it should heal in about two weeks, and she was right; it did heal up quickly and nicely. I learned a lesson to keep my hand out of our dog’s mouth! He’s a good boy and didn’t mean to bite me, so in a way that accident was my own fault.
A month later, my 3-year-old brother bit me on my arm because I wouldn’t give him a piece of candy that he wanted immediately. We were just getting ready for dinner and my mom told me he had to wait until later to eat any sweets. Well, this little rascal bit me during his tantrum!
My father immediately disciplined my little brother for doing this. My mom jumped up and washed my bite (which broke my skin in two places) with soap and peroxide, exactly how she did with my dog bite. However, it’s been 10 days and this “brother bite” has become infected, so I had to go to the doctor with my mom. Why did the dog bite heal and the human bite get infected? — Twice Bitten, via email
TWICE BITTEN: Many medical professionals over the years have explained to me the interesting differences between a human bite and a dog bite. Most feel that they would rather be bitten by a dog than by a human because human bites transmit more bacteria and are indeed more likely to become infected, as occurred in your case.
It sounds illogical, but the human mouth has more bacteria in it than is found in almost all animals’ mouths! Remember that any bite that breaks the skin should be treated immediately and thoroughly. Consult a medical professional immediately if there is any problem noticed during the healing process.
I FELT LEFT OUT
DR. WALLACE: Today we had our first chemistry lab at my school in two years! Of course, we couldn’t meet in person during the height of the pandemic, but now we are back in the classroom together.
Last week we each were assigned a partner except me. I was left alone because there are an odd number of kids in this class, so I became the “odd” leftover!
When our teacher discovered there was no partner for me, he announced to the class that he would become my partner for this project. I feel like such a loser because I have to now do the lab work with the teacher instead of another student. I’m really upset about this and so now I’m wondering if I should try to transfer out of the class. What do you think? — Stuck With the Teacher, via email
STUCK WITH THE TEACHER: Do not quit the class or transfer out! You have the most knowledgeable partner possible. Take this opportunity to get to know your teacher better and work hard on the project to show him you’re interested in learning the class material correctly.
I trust you’ll find that you can quickly master the material with his direct guidance, and then you might even be in a position to help some of the other students who are struggling with the project within their own groups. What you first viewed as a potential setback could actually be a setup to help you to help others. And helping fellow students is not only admirable but will likely garner you some new friends and acquaintances.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.