Hundreds of thousands of animal bites occur every year – with dogs taking the top of the list. In every 10 bites, 7 are caused by the owner’s own pet or by one that they know. Unfortunately, most of the cases involve children under the age of 5. This article discusses the things that you need to take note of if you or a loved one has been bitten. Nevertheless, it is still best advised that you bring the wound to medical professionals to be thoroughly examined and taken care of.
Clean the wound
No matter how small or big the bite is, the first thing you need to do is to clean it. Animal mouths contain numerous types of germs and bacteria, and cleaning the wound reduces the chances of getting an infection. If the wound is rather small, clean it by running tap water near the wound so it washes any germs off. There have been some concerns that antiseptics damage skin tissue and therefore adversely impact healing. If the wound bleeds, you can also use a clean pad or dressing to help stop the bleeding after it has been cleaned. This helps apply pressure to alleviate the bleeding until you are seen by a doctor or a nurse. If the wound is deep, punctured and dirty, it is best to immediately seek medical attention.
Seek for medical help
Medical professionals can provide the care and attention that the wound needs to prevent it from worsening and causing other adverse reactions. The doctor or nurse may need to remove or trim part of the skin that has been damaged, as this is prone to develop infections.
Furthermore, there are wounds that may require surgery or operation to repair – especially if the wound is deep it reaches the cartilages and tendons.
Doctors can also prescribe the proper medication to help with the wound. They can suggest antibiotics to counteract any potential infection that can be contracted with the wound. This is especially helpful if you have a low resistance to infection.
Doctors and medical professionals can also administer tetanus shots to further protect against infection. Tetanus can be deadly if left untreated, and so getting a shot of the vaccine can be very beneficial.
Animal bites are also known to cause rabies, especially if the animal is not vaccinated. This is another deadly effect of being bitten by an animal, as the effects only show up when it is too late to reverse and treat. As such, having your wound examined by a medical professional will help early detection and possibly, treat it before it worsens. Rabies can be contracted no matter how small the wound is – so it is important to not neglect and ignore animal bites no matter how light they seem.
One of the complications of animal bites is an infection of the wound. If you notice that the skin around the wound becomes swollen, tender and becomes more painful, see a doctor immediately to have it remedied.
Contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson if you or a loved one have been victims of animal bites of negligent pet owners.