First aid should consist of getting away from the animal to a safe area. Next, apply pressure on the areas that are bleeding, and going to an emergency department if the injury requires care.
- Many different types of animals ranging from dogs, cats, hamsters, raccoons, ferrets, and squirrels can bite adults and children.
- Many times, bites are from the family pet.
- Most states require that animal bites be reported. Therefore, the person bitten will be asked to fill out a form with information about the bite or asked specific questions for reporting purposes when medical care is sought.
- Aside from simple data collection, this can be important in cases of rabies cases to help officials track location(s) and monitor a possible spread of the disease.
Causes for Animal Bite
Animal bites usually are either provoked or unprovoked. A provoked bite would occur if a person teases a dog or tries to take away the dog’s food while the dog is eating. An unprovoked bite may occur if the person is sitting in their backyard and a raccoon runs out of the woods and attacks them for no known reason. A stray dog that approaches a person and begins to bite them would be considered unprovoked. This type of information is very important to the healthcare professional taking care of the bite because in certain animal species “unprovoked” bites can be a sign or indicator that the animal has rabies and needs to be either captured, quarantined or very closely monitored.