Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Help from Animal Bites

The consequences of external injuries, inflicted upon human by animals, vary to a great extent, depending on the circumstances. In general it can be said that animal bites quite often tend to heal poorly. They carry an acute risk of infection, unless treated swiftly and expertly.

The most frequent bites are dog-bites, but also other pets might bite. Normally, non-domesticated animals rarely bite, the exception is stray dogs. Careless behavior in zoos can also result in unpleasant contact with animals. Because of the ever-increasing spread of rabies bite wound are of great significance.


Apart from a high risk of infection

- by pyococci

- by tetanus viruses

- of contracting rabies

Rabies is very often fatal for humans. The disease is transmitting through the saliva of infected animals.

First Aid

- Cleanse the wound immediately with hot soapy water (rabies viruses are sensitive to heat and soap).

- Disinfect the wound with a disinfectant

- Apply a sterile dressing

- Take the casualty immediately to a doctor or to hospital to establish whether or not the casualty needs an anti rabies vaccine.

- The animal that inflicted the bite, should, if possible, also be examined for rabies. If bitten by a pet, identify the owner (injury report).


Rabid animals, as a rule, display unusual behavior; they roam about, may be abnormally trustful, suddenly become vicious and bite unexpectedly. The saliva of infected animals is already contagious some days before they display strange behavior. Visibly diseased animals usually die within one week. Their cadavers remain contagious.

Do not touch an animal suspected to have rabies or any unfamiliar animal (nor any animal cadaver) or allow such an animal to lick you in a region known for the prevalence of rabies.

Particular caution is to be exercised with non-domesticated animals, who approach humans with unnatural friendliness. An attacking animal must be warded off with all means. Avoid any bodily contact. Quite often it helps to bait the infected animal with a stick in which it can sink its teeth into. Any living, dying or dead animal suspected of having rabies should be reported to the nearest police station or veterinarian indicating the exact location where it was sighted.

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