First aid for animal bite

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Animal bites can be minor with an incidence of your pet cat or dog or other animals like squirrels, racoon, bats, etc. either scratching you. Otherwise it could be a major bite involving great deal of bleeding and deep wound.  In case the pet or the stray animal is not immunized, then its bite can be a cause of concern. However, you often do not know how to deal with the situation when you are bitten by an animal impromptu; instead you end up being panicky. It’s for this reason we tell you about first aid for animal bite.

First Aid for animal bite

1.Calm down

Do not get scared, panic, or annoy the animal in response to the bite. Rather, move away from the animal. Deal tactfully with the situation. Calm yourself and prepare for dressing the wound.

2.Try to stop bleeding

If you notice bleeding, then try to stop it immediately by applying pressure. Pick a piece of clean cloth and press the wound to prevent blood loss.

3.Clean the wound

Clean the wound gently with plain soap and water. Irrigate the wound with lots of water. Keep rinsing (and not flushing) for several minutes. Pat dry it with cotton or a clean cloth.  Do not rub.

4.Protect the wound

Apply an OTC antibiotic cream over the wound, like neomycin gel and then wrap it with a sterile bandage. This will protect the wound from dust and other infectious particles.

Follow up care for animal bites

Once you are done with first aid, do not delay to go for a medical check up, especially if the wound has punctured and torn your skin deep. In that case, you need a follow up treatment plan.

You doctor might consider the following medical care:

  • The doctor will check the wound thoroughly, may clean it once again and prescribe antibiotics
  • Deep cuts and serious wounds from animal bites will require stitches
  • To prevent chances of future infection, your doctor is most likely to give you tetanus shot or booster
  • If the animal is suspected of not being immunized, then your doctor might pursue anti-rabies treatment on you
  • Additionally, common pain killer, like NSAIDS might be prescribed to reduce the pain and inflammation

Once the treatment is over, your doctor will let you know if another follow up treatment is required.

How to prevent yourself from animal bites?

You can take the following precautions to protect yourself from getting bitten by an animal

  • Make sure your pet is trained properly
  • Do not irritate pets. Remember, in retaliation they can bite you
  • Vaccinate your pet
  • Be around your child when he/she is playing with the pet
  • It’s better not to keep wild animals as pets

Animal bite is painful because they have sharp teeth. Under any circumstance, follow the first aid steps we have mentioned here to get immediate relief and prevent infection. Also take necessary precautions to avoid occurrence of the same in the future.

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Written by: healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 02, 2015

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