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Addressing Animal Bites

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Addressing Animal Bites

Animal Bites

This is a common phenomenon in the US with cases of over two million reported annually. An animal bite is more common in children than in adults and dogs are the major cause of animal bites with the remainder caused by cats and rodents. Animal bites can lead to complications such as rabies and skin infection. In some bites, injury cases and permanent disability have been reported to occur. This is because bite wounds to a person's hand can be highly dangerous and may lead to more serious complications as the skin's surface is closer to the underlying bones and joints.

Causes

Pets that people keep are the most general cause of animal bites. These include dog bites which are the chief cause, cat bites which are less common but have a higher risk of infection and stray animals and wild animals like bats, raccoons and skunks. In case of a bite from a wild animal or unknown pet, one should ensure he or she keeps it in view and notifies animal control authorities for help and capturing it. The animal control may assist in determining if it should be impounded and checked for rabies as an animal whose rabies vaccination status is not known ought to be quarantined.

Signs and symptoms

Most probable signs and symptoms of animal bites include but are not limited to break or major skin cuts sometimes with bleeding or not, bruising in the bit part, crushing injuries and puncture type wounds. Other forms of diseases causing flu-like symptoms, fever and severe headache can also be spread through animal bites.

Prevention

In order to lower the risk of being bitten by an animal, you should be responsible pet owner by keeping rabies vaccination up to date and away from contact with wild animals, avoid being in contact with bats as bats found during the day are most likely unhealthy thus, should not be touched. Besides, unknown animals though friendly can bite if provoked so, any interaction with them should always be avoided, avoid feeding, playing with or touching other animals like bats, raccoons, squirrels or rats as they are primary causes of animal bites. Again, to prevent animal bites cases, avoid disturbing while taking care of or feeding its offspring, any aggressive play with them and do not stick your fingers in their cages.

Treatment

Immediately after being bitten by an animal, one should carefully clean the wound with soap and water to prevent infection. In case of bleeding, press the wound with a clean towel to stop the bleeding. If bitten by an animal or a human being and you notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical treatment: if you have a broken bone or the presence of other serious injury, if an animal bite has broken through your skin making the bleeding to be profuse even after applying pressure; or if you are diabetic, have liver disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer or a weakened immune system. In wounds with high risk of becoming infected, suturing should not be done. Such include crush injuries, puncture wounds, bites in the hands, dog bites that have taken many hours, cat and human bites apart from those to the face and bite wounds in a person with weakened immune system.

Above all, always be on the watch of your children when around animals teaching them to avoid teasing them, handling pets gently and staying safe from wild animals.

References

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mayoclinic.org%2Ffirst-aid%2Ffirst-aid-animal-bites%2Fbasics%2Fart-20056591&ei=4qlxU7WTDoTH7Ab5jYHoCw&usg=AFQjCNHzHp9Z0yeIt_tVvY9tgeRvrO0dzg&bvm=bv.66330100,d.ZGU

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CEIQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FAnimal_bite&ei=4qlxU7WTDoTH7Ab5jYHoCw&usg=AFQjCNFZMoj6H8SnxfzLMO2vXaXlimNVsA&bvm=bv.66330100,d.ZGU