Most individuals identify themselves as animal lovers. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 60.2percent of American households have a puppy and over 47% have a cat. Not to mention reptiles, birds, and other large mammals! Although animals play a large part in our lives, different causes may cause an animal to attack.
In 2017, the city of San Antonio, Texas has seen an influx of roaming dogs which has become problematic for the United States Postal Service (USPS). 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 normally give warning signs before attacking. Growling, hissing, arched back, and reduced ears are just a couple of the signs that animals give us when they feel threatened.
For puppies: 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 trying to interact with it.
Wild animals: Keep calm, make yourself look larger than you are, and back away slowly. Never run from a wild animal; this may trigger their instinct to chase.
Get to security: Put as much distance between the victim and the animal as possible. Use your own body, clothing, or items such as a purse or backpack to keep the creature from attacking vulnerable areas like the neck and face.
Assess the situation: based on the animal and the chances of it being vaccinated, you may or may not need medical aid. If the wounds aren’t too deep, the animal was vaccinated in the previous 364 days, and you are up-to-date on your tetanus shots, you may safely cleanse the area with soap and water, use an antibiotic ointment on the injury, and bandage it up. Seek medical attention if the injury becomes red, painful, or swollen.
Know when to seek help: Seek medical attention immediately if the victim has deep wounds with excessive bleeding, becomes feverish, or is attacked by an animal that has not been vaccinated in the previous year. Many animals carry dangerous diseases which could lead to infection and, in some cases, even death.
When someone is attacked by any animal, timing is crucial. 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.
Make certain to check out our Physicians Premier Blog for different strategies and information on health and wellness.