Beware, Even Your Pets May Bite You! Here’s What You Should Do If That Happens

Beware, Even Your Pets May Bite You! Here’s What You Should Do If That Happens

If your family owns a dog or a cat, you want to ensure its safety and yours, and one way of doing that is by having rabies shots administered. Did you know that even family pets can bite their owners when provoked? The experience is more traumatic if it happens to kids, when what they think is playtime with their pet suddenly goes awry. Should the need arise, parents must know what to do if their child gets bitten by an animal.

Symptoms

Pain, bleeding, numbness, and a tingling sensation may occur after an animal bite. The person may also experience swelling, breaks, or cuts in the skin, bruising or discoloration of the skin in the affected area, wounds, red streaks leading away from the bite, and tendon or joint injury in severe cases.

First aid

According to the Philippine Pediatric Society and Kids Health, it is important to follow these steps if someone in the family gets bitten by an animal:

  1. Immediately after the bite, attempt to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure on the wound using a clean and dry cloth.
  2. Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the wound using a mild antibacterial soap and warm, running water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Apply an antiseptic like povidone iodine or alcohol to the wound to reduce the risk of infections.
  4. Cover the wound with a dry, sterile bandage.
  5. Watch for signs of infection. If the wounded area turns red or warm to the touch, is painful, oozing with pus or blood-filled, call your doctor right away.
  6. If the bite is on the neck, head, face, hand, fingers, or feet, call your doctor immediately as antibiotics may be needed.

Take note: Deeper wounds may need stitches. You may also need tetanus and anti-rabies shots, especially if the animal is not vaccinated. It is important to call the nearest animal bite center immediately when such an incident occurs as infection may spread, and you may need to receive antibiotics or undergo surgery in severe cases.

Prevention

Most kids wouldn’t think that pets, cute as they are, are capable of hurting them, but a study by the Department of Health (DOH) states that around 47.4% of animal bite cases are with kids under the age of 15. To prevent such instances, it’s best to remember the following:

  1. Even a well-trained dog may snap if it is startled, provoked, threatened, angry, or hungry.
  2. Supervise your kid at all times, especially around someone else’s pet. As much as possible, do not let them get near wild animals to avoid being attacked.
  3. Let a dog see and sniff you and your kid before petting it.
  4. Never pull a dog’s or a cat’s tail or ears.
  5. Do not bother animals when they are eating, sleeping, or taking care of their offsprings.
  6. When feeding a dog, put the treat in your palm with your fingers and thumb close together. Do not feed them with your fingers.
  7. Never take a toy or bone away from a pet.
  8. If an animal attacks or tries to bite you, put an object between you and the animal. If the animal knocks it over, drop to the ground and roll into a ball while covering your face and stay still until the animal calms down.

What to do before getting a pet

Before adopting or getting a pet, always ask a professional which kind of animal and breed is best for your household. Do not forget to ask previous owners about a pet’s temperament, health, and behavior, as pets with a history of aggression may not be suitable for a household with kids.

When your pet starts living in your home, set an appointment with a veterinarian and make sure your furry friend gets all the required vaccinations. Always keep your pet on a leash when walking outside, as this prevents their behavior from getting out of hand. If you do have the time and budget, consider training your pet under the guidance of a professional.

Animal bite centers to call

These animal bite centers offer home-service vaccinations:

  1. Animal Bite Center 24/7

    Location: Metro Manila

    Facebook: Animal Bite Clinic 24/7 - Home Service

  2. Usafe Vaxx Animal Bite Clinic

    Location: Cavite City

    Contact: 0916-2065434

    Facebook: Usafe Vaxx Animal Bite Clinic

  3. Ibañez Animal Bite Clinic

    Location: Cavite City

    Contact: 0975-3521406

    Facebook: Ibañez Animal Bite Clinic

  4. I-Care Animal Bite Center And Vaccination Clinic

    Location: Antipolo City

    Contact: 0936-6891653 or 0961-7841040

    Facebook: I-Care Animal Bite Center and Vaccination Clinic

  5. Rabies-Buster Animal Bite Clinic

 

Location: Ormoc City and Sogod, Southern Leyte

Contact: 0920-9452196

Facebook: Rabies-Buster Animal Bite Clinic

You may also contact The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City at (02) 8807-2631.

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