Most individuals identify themselves as animal lovers. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 60.2% of American households have a puppy and over 47% have a cat. Not to mention reptiles, birds, and other large creatures! Although animals play a massive part in our lives, different triggers 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 section on KENS5, it was reported that San Antonio ranks #11 in the country for dog attacks on postal workers.
Prevention is key: Animals will generally give warning signs before attacking. Growling, hissing, arched back, and lowered ears are simply a few of the signals 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.
Give the animal an opportunity to calm down before attempting to interact with it.
Get to safety: Put as much distance between the victim and the creature as you can. Use your body, clothes, or items like a purse or backpack to keep the creature from attacking vulnerable areas like the face and neck.
Assess the situation: Depending on the creature and the odds of it being vaccinated, you may or may not require medical assistance. If the wounds aren’t too heavy, the animal has been vaccinated in the previous 364 days, and you are up-to-date in your tetanus shots, you can safely cleanse the area with water and soap, use an antibiotic ointment on the harm, and bandage it up. Seek medical care if the injury becomes red, painful, or swollen.
Know when to seek help: Seek medical attention immediately if the victim has profound 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 can cause infection and, in some cases, even death.
When someone is attacked by any creature, timing is a must. Save yourself precious time by familiarizing yourself with the areas of local hospitals such as the Physicians Premier San Antonio ER where help are available 24 hours a day.
Be sure to check out our Physicians Premier Blog for other strategies and information on health and wellness.