Everyone who lives with animals knows that sometimes a cat or dog bite can happen. It is important to be informed and to know what you should do when these situations occur. If you or the person who was bitten are a healthy person, it is probable that you won’t get complications from it. Nevertheless, you should treat the wound carefully and, for precaution, visit your doctor. In fact, cat bites often need medical treatment. And especially if you are worried about the wound, if it has infected or you have a health problem, such as cancer, diabetes, AIDS or a weakened immune system, for instance, you have an additional reason to visit a physician in order to see if it is everything alright.
How to Treat a Cat Bite?
Some incidents occur because people don’t know how to get close to animals and end up scaring them. It is very important to know how to do it and to teach children about the way animals should be treated. It is also prudent do not leave small children or babies alone with dogs and cats. Some behaviors can lead to violent reactions from animals: get closer to them when they are eating or intimidate them are just some examples of those situations.
And if it happens, what should you do to treat the wound? It depends on the wound. If you were bitten by a cat, it is unlikely that the bite had break your skin. Even so, it is possible that the bite origins several infections. In spite of most cats diseases can’t affect humans, some of them can. In fact, a cat bite can cause various diseases, like Cat Scratch Disease, Ringworm, Rabies or Roundworm, among others.
If the victim is a child, you must go to the hospital even if the wound seems to be small and harmless.
If the wound is bleeding, first of all you should stop the bleeding by pressuring the wound with a piece of sterile cotton. Now, you need to clean the wound to prevent future infections. Wash the wound very well with water and soap for some minutes. Be careful with substances that may cause irritation on the skin, such as alcohol. It is better to avoid them.
If the wound is small, the skin will probably heal by itself. Usually, cat bites are small and don’t require sutures. If you think it is necessary, you can use an adhesive to protect the bitten area. But if the wound needs to be closed with suture, you have to go to the hospital. It is important to pay attention to symptoms that may occur afterwards. If you think you are sick, you must see your doctor.
It is important to recognize the signs of infection. Your wound may be infected if it has pus, if the place where the wound occurred is sore, if the skin around the wound is red or hotter than the rest of your body, if the wound has a bad smell or if you have fever, if you are more tired than usually or you feel dehydrated.
If you don’t know the animal who has bitten you, you probably don’t know he has some health problem. If it is the case, you must go as soon as possible to the hospital to check the wound and to be observed by a physician. Pay attention to what your doctor tells you about the healing process and tell him all the facts you know about the cat and about your clinical history.
If the place where the wound is hurts, there are some medicines that may help you. If you went to the hospital, don’t forget to mention to the doctor if you have some health problem or if you use to take some medicine. If you go to a pharmacy, give this information to the pharmacist. Ask your doctor or the pharmacist how you should take the medicine.
If you went to the doctor, it is possible that he told you to come back later to observe the wound. You should pay attention to the evolution of the wound in order to inform him when you come back to the hospital. Even if the doctor didn’t ask you to go back to see the wound, if you feel ill or have some symptoms you should go. So, go to a hospital if you develop signs of infection, if the wound gets worse or if it does not heal, if you keep feeling pain or if you don’t feel good in general.
Accidents may happen, but if you get prepared to face them everything will be alright. As a precaution, you should always vaccinate your pets and make sure you and your family also are vaccinated. You can avoid bite incidents if you teach your children to play safely with animals and to respect them when they don’t want to play. Also try to avoid contact with animals which you don’t know, because they might be sick. And if an accident happens, make sure you seek medical help.