Here at LB Hand Therapy, we enjoy wildlife-watching, especially in the wooded area near our office. While we love animals, we understand that some require their space–if you’re ever bitten by an animal, it can be a very serious injury. Animal bites can lead to infection, fractures, or even fingertip amputations. If you do sustain an animal bite, it is best to seek medical attention immediately as you may require a rabies vaccination, a need which your doctor will determine. Not all animals carry rabies, but it is best to allow a medical team to assess the need.
Seek Medical Attention for Animal Bites
Depending on the severity of the wound, you may need stitches or wound care. You may also need an x-ray to determine if any bones were crushed from the bite, which is why we recommend seeking medical attention for an animal bite. As always, watching for signs of infection will be important. The physician will likely recommend a course of antibiotics depending what type of bite you received.
Signs of Infection in an Animal Bite
- Your hand or arm is warm to the touch
- The surrounding area turning bright red
- The bite oozing yellow or green pus
- The wound emitting a foul odor
- You have a fever and general malaise
Prevention is key with animal bites. Do not approach any wild or stray animals. If two animals are fighting, do NOT use your body to break up the fight. Instead, use a broom or another non-injuring item to distract the animals fighting. If you can safely throw a blanket or sheet over the fighting animals, this can also help to stop the fight.
Have you recently sustained a wound from an animal bite? Did you need help with wound care? LB Hand Therapy can help. Visit the Where to Begin page to become a patient.