According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 4.2 million Americans get dog bites annually. Only about 755,000 seek medical care. The number of Americans bitten by animals is more if you include the number of bites from wild and domestic animals. You can require Houston Medical ER services if a cat, snake, squirrel, or raccoon scratches and breaks your skin.
That is because most animals that usually bite humans have harmful bacteria in their mouths and poison in their bodies. Animal bites can lead to fatal infections. For instance, according to Medical News Today, the blue-ringed octopus has a lot of toxic substances that can kill over 24 humans. That is, even if this species of octopus has a length of just about 19 cm.
The most venomous and poisonous species of snakes in this country include the Mojave green, copperhead, cottonmouth, and pit vipers. Here are treatment and prevention options for animal bites.
Treatment options for animal bites
If you have an animal bite and require medical care, you will experience various signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms may involve wound draining, inflamed bite area, pain lasting more than a day, and fever.
Before your doctor begins treatment of your wound, the doctor may request a few pieces of information. For instance, your doctor will want to know the type of animal that bit you and when it bit you.
Your doctor will clean your wound from an animal bite using a special solution that kills dangerous bacteria. Your cleaned wound can then be checked, especially using a diagnostic tool like an X-ray.
Examination of the bite area helps your doctor know if you have nerve, bone, or tendon damage. Extensive wound damage can require surgical repair. Testing of your blood can also reveal if you have an infection caused by an animal bite.
If the bite area does not require surgical treatment, your doctor will stitch, staple, or tape it once clean and dry. You will likely be given prescribed medications to help fight bacterial attacks and infections. You can get vaccinated if you may be infected by rabies or tetanus.
If you have a minor animal bite, gently clean it with an anti-bacterial solution at home before seeking medical care. After the wound dries, apply an ointment that eradicates infection and then bandage it. The bandage should be clean and not wrapped too tight.
Ensure you keep the area bitten by an animal above your heart’s level. Elevating the area with an animal bite wound can help lower pain and swelling.
Solutions for preventing animal bites
Always be alert to recognize and avoid threatening or playing with a frightened animal like a dog or a cat. Also, if you spot fighting animals, avoid getting between them. You can also prevent potential animal bites by avoiding playing with caged animals or capturing wild animals. Moreover, do not disturb an animal busy with its baby, eating or sleeping.
Contact Houston Medical ER today to book an appointment for medical care if an animal has bitten you severely.