|Animal bites are a common occurrence; they cost more than $50 million a year in medical expenses due to the caring and complications that can occur. About 2% percent of all visits to the average community hospital emergency rooms involve animal bites. About 10% of these bites are serious enough to require sutures and follow-up visits.
Depending on how serious the bite is depends on actions taken. Most animals are taken to the county animal shelter for a ten (10) day observance. If an animal is a repeat biter or has severely harmed someone it may have to be euthanized. There are times where an owner has requested that the animal be put down because of fear that it will bite again.
If you have a minor bite you should pour soap and water over the wound for at least five (5) minutes as soon as you have been bitten, this will help prevent infection. After the wound has been washed out it should be covered with a sterile dressing.
If you have a serious bite you should wash the wound in cold water, and then apply pressure and a sterile bandage to control bleeding. After the wound has been covered, raise that area above the heart and seek immediate medical attention.
If a serious bite occurs, you should also make a police report and contact the animal control office. Please try to make note of the type of animal that has bitten you. The best description you have of the animal the more likely the animal will be found.