What should we do if we are bitten by an animal?
**Note that if a victim of a dog or other animal bite requires immediate medical assistance, call 9-1-1 immediately.**
All animal bites should be considered serious. The primary cause of bites reaching a serious nature is infection. The wound should be washed with soap and water as soon as possible and contact made with your doctor. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure and go to a hospital. If you choose to treat the wound at home, after washing the wound, apply antibiotic cream and bandage. If you are unsure if the victim is currently vaccinated for tetanus make an appointment with your doctor to do so. If the wound becomes sensitive or swollen seek medical attention.
All animal bites should be reported to animal control within 24 hours. The Department of Animal Control is concerned with monitoring the health status of all biting animals. If the owner of a biting animal is violating the law by allowing a vicious animal to run loose a citation may be issued. Most bites are from an animal the victim is closely associated with. Contact should be made with Animal Control to insure the safety of all involved. If the owner of the biting animal is unknown the animal should be contained until animal control can respond and take the animal into custody. If the animal is not friendly do not attempt to contain it, the animal may be followed from a vehicle to determine where it lives or to assist animal control in locating it. To insure the victims safety post exposure shots should be discussed with your doctor or the animal quarantined. An animal quarantine may be conducted at the dog owners home, if considered responsible, or at the shelter. If during the ten days while under quarantine the animal shows no sign of the disease, the victim will not require treatment.