Animal Bite Wound Care: First Aid Remedies And How To Prevent?

Skin infections, rabies (fatal if not treated) and tetanus can be caused by bite wound. That is because a lot of microorganisms are present in the mouth of the animals. Besides underlying tissues, tendons and bones may be damaged if the wound is deep. Dog and cat bites are very common.

Some common symptoms of bite wounds are:

  • Swelling, redness, pus in and around the wound and fever are signs of infection.
  • Symptoms may vary from mild skin breakage, with no bleeding to major cuts and punctured wounds.

Causes: Most of the times a person is bitten by his own pet or by an animal with whom he is well acquainted.

Children are the most affected. Domestic animals, rodents and other wild animals constitute only 5% of the bites.

First Aid Treatment For Animal Bites

  • For a superficial bite from a household pet that has been vaccinated, wash the area with soap and water thoroughly, pat it dry and bandage it.
  • If the bite is deep and comes from an unfamiliar domestic or wild animal, wash the bite area thoroughly, elevate the injury and apply ice and then approach a doctor immediately.
  • You should go for a tetanus shot periodically.

How To Prevent An Animal Bite?

  • Teach your children how to interact with dogs, even the gentlest of dogs (house-pet) can severely injure or kill a child.
  • Don’t allow your kids to approach a dog on their own and be cautious with strange dogs.
  • Train your pets well. To reduce dog bites obey leash laws and get your pet vaccinated on time.
  • Avoid tormenting a cat or dog by teasing, kicking, beating or jerking. Avoid playing rough games with them.
  • Keep away from wild animals and observe them from a distance. Ordinary nocturnal animal out in daytime represents odd behavior (might be rabies) so be over cautious.
  • Roll on the ground if you are attacked by a dog and protect your face, hands, arms and legs.
  • If a dog stands stiff, growls and bristles, don’t run (stand still) it may attack you.
  • Don’t touch a dog to wake it up, just call out. Don’t bother a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

One Comment

  1. R S said:

    I was wearing a t-shirt and a pajama to meet a friend of mine just a few blocks away. Unknowing, he has his dog with him. And it bit me. I check it out, but there is no cut, whatsoever on my pajama. But I have a scratch and a little bleed. Are there any possibilities that the rabies can penetrate in my body?

    January 4, 2011

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