Rabies is a viral disease transmitted from mammals to humans that causes an acute encephalitis. There are two clinical manifestations of rabies: furious and paralytic. Furious rabies is the most common form of human rabies. Once symptoms of the disease develop, either form is almost always fatal. Rabies is transmitted through mucosal exposure to infected animals, such as rabid dogs, bats and sometimes other species. High risk species are racoon, skunk, and bat.
Dog bites contribute to most of the cases because these animals are treated as pets hence, pet owners specially those who have kids should always be prepared to treat a bite wound.
How To Treat Animal Bites
Clean the wound
- Wash the scratch or wound using soap or detergent and flush it with water for about 15 minutes.
- If you don’t have a soap or detergent, flush with water alone.
- After washing the wound, apply an iodine-containing or anti-viral medication preparation on top of the wound o prevent it from getting infected.
Cover the wound
- Cover the wound ONLY if it is in the area where it is likely to get dirty. Otherwise, leave it exposed.
Observe the wound
- Check the bite from time to time to see if there are signs of infection such as: red, swollen, warm, tender to touch wound; pain; and fever. If these occur, see a doctor immediately.
FOR SEVERE OR BLEEDING WOUND
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or bandage from your first aid kit.
- Raise the injured body part above heart level.
Apply an ointment
- Apply an antibacterial lotion or antibiotic cream to reduce risk of infection.
Cover the wound
- Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
Seek for help
- Call emergency medical help if the bleeding won’t stop.
- Call emergency medical help if the wound is large or deep.
- If the animal was a stray or a wild.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT
When you seek medical help, your doctor would ask about the details of the animal, such as the vaccination history or where the animal was last seen. If it is a house pet, make sure to get the contact number of the pet’s owner. Getting these details will help with the proper confinement of the animal. If your pet bit you:
- Keep the animal in a safe area for 10 days where he can bite no one.
- Follow the observations your doctor would need you need to take note of.
- Get guidance from your doctor, animal warden, or the animal control office on how to proper observe the animal.