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 Emergency & First Aid: Animal Bites: First Aid for Animal Bites - Emergency Conditions 
American Institute for Preventive Medicine ©

For Human Bites Before Medical Care

  • Wash the wound area with soap and water for at least 5 minutes. Don't scrub hard. Rinse with running water or with an antiseptic solution, such as Betadine.
  • Cover the wound area with sterile gauze. Tape only the ends of the gauze in place. Then get medical care.

  • For Deer Tick Bites

  • Remove any ticks found on the skin. Use tweezers to grasp the tick(s) as close to the skin as you can. Firmly, but gently begin rotating the head part in a counterclockwise manner until the whole headpiece comes out. Or, pull gently and carefully in a steady upward motion at the point where the tick's mouthpart enters the skin. Try not to crush the tick. The secretions released may spread disease.
  • After you remove the ticks, wash the wound area and your hands with soap and water. Apply rubbing alcohol to help disinfect the area.
  • Use an ice pack over the bite area to relieve pain.
  • Save one tick in a closed jar with rubbing alcohol to show the doctor.

  • For Dog and Cat Bites

  • Wash the bite area right away with soap and warm water for 5 minutes. If the bite is deep, flush the wound with water for 10 minutes. Dry the wound with a clean towel. Then get medical care.
  • If the wound is swollen, apply ice wrapped in a towel for 10 minutes.
  • Get a tetanus shot, if needed.
  • If the bite hurts, take an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine for pain.
  • Report the incident to the animal control department. If a pet's immunizations are not current, arrange with the animal control department for the pet to be observed for the next 10 days to check for rabies.
  • Observe the wound for a few days. Look for signs of infection. Often, cat bite wounds need an antibiotic.
  • Stingray.

    For a Stingray Bite

  • Remove the person from the water.
  • Apply a local pressure bandage for a wound that bleeds a lot.
  • Immerse the wound area in hot water for 30 to 90 minutes. Make sure the water is not hot enough to burn the skin.
  • Scrub the wound area well with soap and water.
  • Unless the wound is a slight one in only one limb, get medical help right away.
  • For Stings from Jellyfish or Sea Nettles, etc.

  • Remove the person from the water. Don't touch the sting area with bare hands.
  • Rinse the sting area with salt (not fresh) water right away. Don't put ice on the skin. If you can, put vinegar or rubbing alcohol on the area several times for 30 or more minutes until the pain is relieved.
  • Apply dry or moist heat to the sting area until the pain subsides. You can mix one part ammonia with 3 parts salt water and apply this to the sting area.
  • Wear gloves when you remove stingers. Use a towel to wipe the stingers or the tentacles off. Use tweezers to lift large tentacles. Don't scrape or rub them.
  • To relieve itching, apply OTC calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream to the affected area as directed on the label.
  • Contact your doctor for any signs of infection.
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