So many of us are animal lovers but sometimes unexpected accidents happen. If you ever incur an animal bite wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what to do?
First, if you ever experience an animal bite, ensure that you wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic cream while covering the bite with a clean bandage. Next, seek emergency medical care if any of the following apply:
1. The wound is a deep puncture or your not quite sure about the seriousness of the wound.
2. The skin is badly torn, crushed, or bleeding significantly. If this is occurring; apply pressure with a bandage or clean cloth to stop the bleeding.
3. If you notice increasing swelling, redness, pain or oozing from the wound; as these could be signs of infection.
4. You have emergency questions regarding the risk of rabies or rabies prevention. If the bite was caused by a cat or dog, try to confirm that the animals' rabies vaccination are current. However, if the bite was caused by a non-domesticated animal then seek expert consult from your primary care physician regarding which animals may likely carry rabies.
Lastly, if you have not received a tetanus vaccination within the past 10 years or even 5 years if the wound is deep and/or dirty; then you may need a booster vaccination.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.