How to Care for Animal Bites

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

It’s very rare that an animal will attack a human. However, from time to time, injuries ranging from mild to serious do occur. These can happen when a cat or dog get carried away while play fighting with you or even when you are feeding squirrels by hand in the park. There are a few key steps you need to remember in the case of an animal bite occurring. It is crucial to act quickly in order to avoid infection, so keep these tips in mind.

 If you have been bitten or scratched by a domestic animal and the wound is not serious, you don’t have much to worry about. If the skin is barely broken and there is not excessive bleeding, then you can use simple cleaning methods to prevent infection. Wash off the bite with soap and water. Apply a cream such as “Neosporin” or “Polysporin” to the wound in order to prevent infection.

 If you don’t have either of these available, another antibiotic solution will do. In a pinch, you can even use rubbing alcohol. Reapply dressing when the bandage gets wet or dirty until the wound has stopped bleeding and has scabbed over.

 If the wound is deep and has cut through to muscle or the fat below the skin, you should take a cloth (ensure it is dry and clean) and apply consistent pressure on the wound. In this case, you may also want to put some alcohol on the wound before applying the cloth, but this will hurt a lot. Make sure you call your doctor and get the wound professionally cleaned and dressed.

 Whether the wound is small or large, infections should be treated promptly. If you notice a few days after you have been bitten that there is redness, puss, oozing, swelling, or increased pain, then you should immediately see your doctor about getting antibiotics.

 Tetanus infections can also occur from deep, dirty bites. Check your immunization records and see if you haven’t had a tetanus shot in five years or more. If this is the case, a booster inoculation should help if it is given within two days (48 hours) from the time that the bite occurred.

 Remember that if a strange animal has bitten you, you should see a doctor immediately, as the animal may have rabies. Rabies can be present in any of the following animals: cats, dogs, raccoons, foxes, skunks, rabbits, bats, squirrels, or other rodents.