First Aid For Animal Bites

Even minor, animal bites and scratches are very harmful for human beings as they can become infected and thereby spreading bacteria to the whole body causing illness. In such a scenario, it is very important to provide first aid to the patient immediately.

Bites can carry diseases even if they are from a family pet or a wild animal. For example scratches from a kitten can also carry “cat scratch disease” which is a harmful bacterial disease. Rabies and tetanus are transmitted through animal bites. The bites that scratch the skin are more likely to cause transmission of infection. That is why it is important to note the animal while giving first aid for animal bites to the victim so that treatment can be given accordingly.


While administering first aid for animal bites to the victim, it is important to observe his symptoms that may include

Reddening of skin, Pain, Swelling, Drainage or Fever

If the victim gets timely first aid for animal bites, his situation may not deteriorate any further.

Immediate Treatment – First Aid for Animal Bites

  • In case a familiar household pet who has been immunized and is in good health bite or scratches a person, animal bites can be taken care of at home.
  • With the help of soap and water, the wound must be washed under the pressure of faucet for some time.
  • Also the wound must not be scrubbed roughly as it may cause bruising of tissue.
  • Apply antibacterial cream or lotion gently over the wound which is going to provide some relief.
  • In case the wounds are deeper from any animal or any strange animal has bitten the victim, immediately clean the wound with clean water and mild soap.
  • If the wound is bleeding apply pressure to it with a clean towel, gauze or tissue.
  • Pressure on the wound must be firm but gentle and this first aid treatment for animal bites will help to stop the flow of blood.
  • With the help of sterile dressing, dry the wound and cover it.
  • While offering first aid for animal bites do remember butterfly bandages or tape must not be used to close the wound as it may trap harmful bacteria inside the wound causing further damage to the victim.
  • Inform your doctor and give all the details about the animal, the time when he was bitten and symptoms if any so that he can administer appropriate treatment.
  • Sometimes it becomes necessary to give additional treatment to the victim such as a tetanus booster, course of antibiotics, a rabies vaccination, etc.
  • When the bites or scratches are on face, or are deeper with puncture like wounds, this treatment becomes all the more necessary.
  • Locate the animal that has inflicted the wound on the victim if possible because it may become necessary to study them if they show symptoms of rabies.
  • They need to be captured, confined and observed for a while to see if they are carriers of rabies.
  • Timely first aid for animal bites can help the victim to get back to normal life faster.

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