Sometimes, you can be so careful around your pets or other dogs and cats and you still get bitten. Unfortunately, dog and cat bites have the potential to create a major skin infection that could require hospitalization if not taken care of properly. If you are looking forward to tummy tuck near me NYC
There are quite a few things that could go wrong, especially if the animal has rabies or some other disease and/or if you have a health condition that could be compromised by an animal bite.
Steps to Take when Bitten By a Dog or Cat
The most important thing to do is wash the bite area with soap and water, lathering up thoroughly for several minutes before rinsing. Hold a sterile compress to the bite area and apply pressure to stop any bleeding. Once the bleeding stops apply antibiotic ointment to the bite area and then wrap a sterile bandage to the affected bitten area. If possible, try and elevate the injury above the level of your heart for a while as this will not only retard any swelling but also prevent infection from setting in.
Be sure to reapply the antibiotic ointment at least twice a day until the bite wound heals. It is also important to report the dog or cat bite to the proper authorities like animal control if you have no idea who the animal belongs to. If you are aware of the owner, approach the owner and ask for a copy of the animal’s shot records and vet name so that you can check for yourself that the animal is healthy.
When to Contact your Doctor
Cat bites are especially prone to infection so you might want to at least call the doctor for guidance of the bite doesn’t seem to be serious. However, if you have a dog or cat bite on your head, foot or hand that seems to be deep or wide immediately call the doctor. When the bleeding does not recede within 10 to 15 minutes of applying pressure, talk with your doctor as they may ask you to come in to examine you for possible internal injury around the bite area like nerve or bone damage.
If you have a health condition like AIDS, diabetes, cancer or some other illness which causes your immune system to be suppressed, your doctor definitely needs to be notified as the bite may require a trip to the hospital as a precaution. If your treated cat or dog bite becomes swollen, red, tender or warm, this is a signal of an infection and the addition of pus or an oozing wound is also cause for concern. You may even need a tetanus booster shot.
Rabies Shot Necessary?
A rabies shot is not necessary if the animal’s health records show a clean bill of health and no symptoms of rabies during a ten day period. However, if the animal is a stranger to you and cannot be captured or starts showing signs of illness during the ten day period, chances are that a series of rabies shots is in your future. Luckily, most domesticated pets that live with families are vaccinated each year, but it is always better to be safe than sorry later.
The best prevention of skin infection from dog or cat bites is to prevent them from happening. Do not ever leave young children left unattended with a pet or animal you do not know. Never disturb an animal while it is eating and certainly do not try to separate two animals during a fight. Avoid sick or aggressive animals and keep your own pet on a leash. Finally, make sure that your own pets’ shot records are up to date.