An animal bite can result in a break in the skin, a bruise, or a puncture wound. An animal bite may not appear to be life-threatening, but if left untreated the bite can lead to a serious infection. An animal bite should be cleaned properly, and the wound should be observed for any sign of infection. If the bite is a puncture wound, it has a greater chance of becoming infected. Rabies is a rare, but potentially fatal, disease transmitted by the saliva of a rabid animal. There is no cure for rabies once symptoms develop. But, if vaccinated promptly after being bitten, you can develop immunity before symptoms develop. Pets are the most common cause of bites, with dog bites occurring most often. Cat bites may have a higher chance of infection. Stray animals and wild animals, such as skunks, raccoons, and bats, also bite thousands of people each year. Most bites occur on the fingers of the dominant hand, but animal bites can also occur about the head and neck area. Most cases of rabies result from the bite of a wild animal, such as a skunk, bat, or raccoon. In other countries, dog bites are the most common source of rabies.
The most common sign of infection from an animal bite is inflammation. The skin around the wound is red and feels warm, and the wound may exude pus. Even if a bite does not break the skin, it may cause crushing and tearing injury to underlying bone, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. If the skin is broken, there is the additional possibility of infection. Deep bites or bites near joints can damage joints and bones, causing inflammation of the bone and bone marrow or septic arthritis. Children under 12 years of age are at a higher risk for bites due to their size and their inexperience with animals; therefore, they should be supervised with animals and taught to act appropriately around them. The bitten area should not be put into the mouth. The mouth contains bacteria, which can cause infection. For superficial wounds, the area should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or an antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. An antibiotic ointment should be applied and the wound should be covered with a nonstick bandage. The area should be watched carefully for signs of damaged nerves or tendons.
Prevention of Animal Bite
- Do not provoke or tease animals.
- Teach children not to approach strange animals.
- Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a dog.
- Do not disturb an animal while it is feeding or taking care of its young.
- Use great care when "aggressively" playing with an animal. Even the family dog can bite its owner by accident while playing tug of war over that old shoe.
Home Remedies for Animal Bite
- Dab with organic apple cider vinegar.
- Intake of vitamin B supplements produces antibodies that fight infection.
- You can also apply antibiotic ointment to the bitten area twice daily, till it' s completely healed.
- Ibuprofen Gel. For pain and swelling from insect stings, is an excellent anti-inflammatory with quick onset.
- Take 1 teaspoon basil (tulsi) leaf juice and drink with water. Also apply externally.
- Aloe vera from plants and creams. Apply gel directly on the spot. Or dilute with water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on the spot.
- Take ½ teaspoon ground black cumin seeds (shah jeera), twice daily.