Most individuals identify themselves as animal lovers. In actuality, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 60.2percent of American households have a dog and over 47% have a cat. Not to mention reptiles, birds, and other large mammals! Although animals play a massive role in our lives, different triggers can 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.
Prevention is key: Animals will generally give warning signs before attacking. Growling, hissing, arched back, and reduced ears are just a few of the signals that animals give us when they feel threatened.
For dogs: Don’t approach an unknown dog, don’t make eye contact, and back away slowly.
For cats: Walk away when they start showing aggression (i.e. increased hair, arched back, thrashing tail, etc.). Give the animal an opportunity to calm down before attempting to interact with it.
Wild animals: Keep calm, make yourself appear larger than you are, and back away slowly.
Get to security: Put as much distance between the victim and the animal as possible. Use your body, clothes, or items such as a purse or backpack to keep the animal from attacking vulnerable areas like the neck and face.
Assess the situation: Depending on the animal and the odds of it being vaccinated, you may or may not need medical aid. If the wounds are not too deep, the animal was vaccinated in the previous 364 days, and you are up-to-date on your tetanus shots, you can safely cleanse the area with soap and water, use an antibiotic ointment on the injury, and bandage it up. Seek medical care if the harm 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 cause infection and, in some cases, even death.
When someone is attacked by any animal, timing is a must. Save yourself precious time by familiarizing yourself with the areas of local hospitals like the Physicians Premier San Antonio ER where help are available 24 hours a day.
Be sure to check out our Physicians Premier Blog for different tips and information on health and wellness.