Most individuals identify themselves as animal lovers. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 60.2% of American households have a dog and over 47% have a cat. Not to mention birds, reptiles, and other large mammals! Although animals play a massive role in our lives, different triggers may cause an animal to attack.
In a news segment on KENS5, it was reported that San Antonio ranks #11 in the nation for dog attacks on postal workers. The CDC also tells us that men and children are more likely to be attacked by dogs.
Prevention is key: Animals will normally give warning signals before attacking. Growling, hissing, arched back, and lowered ears are just a couple of the signals that animals give us when they feel threatened.
For puppies: Don’t approach an unknown dog, don’t make eye contact, and back away slowly.
Give the animal an opportunity to calm down before attempting to interact with it.
Never run from a wild animal; this may trigger their instinct to chase.
Get to safety: Put as much distance between the victim and the animal as you can. Use your own body, clothing, or things such as a purse or backpack to keep the animal from attacking vulnerable areas like the face and neck.
Assess the situation: based on the creature and the odds of it being vaccinated, you may or may not require medical assistance. If the wounds aren’t too deep, the animal has been vaccinated in the last 364 days, and you’re up-to-date in your tetanus shots, you may safely cleanse the area with soap and water, use an antibiotic ointment on the injury, and bandage it up. Seek medical attention if the injury becomes red, painful, or swollen.
Know when to get help: Seek medical attention immediately if the victim has profound wounds with excessive bleeding, becomes feverish, or is attacked by an animal which hasn’t been vaccinated in the previous year. Many animals carry harmful diseases that could lead to infection and, in some cases, even death.
When someone is attacked by any animal, timing is crucial. Save yourself precious time by familiarizing yourself with the areas of local hospitals like the Physicians Premier San Antonio ER where assistance are available 24 hours a day.
Make certain to check out our Physicians Premier Blog for other strategies and information on health and wellness.