First Aid: Animal Bitesenparents bites and scratches that break the skin can cause infection. Rarely, animal bites can cause rabies, a dangerous, life-threatening disease.animal, animal bite, animal bites, animal scratch, scratch, scratches, bite, bites, dog bite, dog bites, pet, pets, house pets, house pet, abrasion, abrasions, cut, cuts, rabies, puncture, punctures, punctured, punctured skin, bleeding, blood, bleed, dog, cat, puppy, kitten, bird, hamster, fish, guinea pig, snake, lizard, gerbil, bat, raccoon, skunk, fox, wild animal, wild animals, stray animal, stray animals, ferile animal, ferile, stop the bleeding, rabies shot, rabies vaccination, rabies shots, emergency, firstaid, first-aid, firstaid kit, first-aid kit, emergency sheet, animal control, spca, humane society, treating a bite, treating an animal bite, how to treat an animal bite01/06/200405/16/201809/02/2019Kate M. Cronan, MD05/10/2018f4578512-854e-410b-90b8-52926a8846ea<p><a href=""><img class="right" title="Parents image" src="" alt="First Aid" name="4990-P_FIRSTAID_ENBT.JPG" /></a></p> <p><a href="">Animal bites and scratches</a> that break the skin can sometimes cause infection. Some bites need stitches while others heal on their own.</p> <p>Rarely, bites from wild animals can lead to <a href="">rabies</a>, a life-threatening infection. Bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes cause most rabies cases.</p> <h3>What to Do</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Wash the bite area with soap and water. If the bite is bleeding, put pressure on it using sterile gauze or a clean cloth.</li> <li>If the bleeding has stopped, put antibiotic ointment on the area.</li> <li>Cover the area with a bandage or sterile gauze.</li> <li>If your child has pain, give <a href="">acetaminophen</a> or <a href="">ibuprofen</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Get Medical Care If:</h3> <ul> <li>The bite was from: <ul> <li>a wild or stray animal</li> <li>a pet that isn't up-to-date on rabies shots</li> <li>an animal that is acting strangely</li> </ul> </li> <li>The bite has broken the skin.</li> <li>The bite is on the face, head, neck, hand, foot, or near a joint.</li> <li>A bite or scratch becomes red, hot, swollen, or more painful.</li> <li>Your child is <a href="">behind on shots</a> or has not had a <a href="">tetanus shot</a> within 5 years.</li> </ul> <p>If your child needs treatment, have the following information on hand:</p> <ul> <li>the kind of animal that bit your child</li> <li>the date of the animal's last rabies vaccination, if known</li> <li>any recent unusual behavior by the animal</li> <li>the animal's location, if known</li> <li>if the animal was a stray or wild, or was captured by a local animal control service</li> <li><a href="">your child's immunization</a> (shots) record</li> <li>a list of any medicines your child is allergic to</li> </ul> <h3>Think Prevention!</h3> <p>Many animal bites can be <a href="">prevented</a>. Always keep a close eye on young kids around animals, even <a class="kh_anchor">pets</a>. Teach kids not to tease pets, to handle them gently, and to stay away from wild or stray animals.</p>
Bites and ScratchesAnimal bites and scratches, even minor ones, can become infected and spread bacteria to other parts of the body, regardless of whether the animal is a family pet or a wild animal.
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RabiesRabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus. Rabies is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.
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