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As you spend time outside this summer, you may find yourself dealing with more bug bites or animal bites. Critters become active along with humans, after all, and knowing the details of treating animal bites can make a big difference. Whether you’ve been bitten by mosquitoes or your hyperactive dog, you should make sure to treat the bite immediately.

Animal or bug bites can be easily dealt with, but it’s important to recognize the signs of potential dangers. If left untreated, a simple annoyance can become a significant hazard. With this guide, you’ll be able to identify a potentially dangerous bite.

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Animal Bites

If you’re bitten by an animal, such as a cat or dog, the wound could range in severity from a simple scratch to a deep gash. Each type demands different treatment. For a superficial wound, wash the area thoroughly but gently with soap and water. Rub an antibiotic cream on the wound and, if necessary, wrap the area gently in a soft bandage. This will prevent any potential infections.

If the wound breaks the skin or causes bleeding, focus on stopping the bleeding as quickly as possible. But more importantly, seek medical help immediately for any animal bite that breaks the skin. If you know the animal’s medical history (such as their vaccine history), tell the doctor when you arrive. If you’ve been bitten by a wild animal, ask your doctor about the rabies vaccine to further protect yourself.

Pro Tip: The best way to avoid wild animal bites is to leave the animals alone. Wild animals are rarely friendly toward people.

Bug Bites

The best approach to bug bites is to try avoiding them altogether. Use plenty of bug spray and cover exposed skin if you can comfortably do so. Once you’ve been bitten, of course, your strategy should change. Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and rub hydrocortisone cream on the bite to soothe itching. For a particularly painful wound such as a bee sting, ibuprofen will help keep the pain down.

What to Watch For

If you or someone else has been bitten by a bug, keep an eye out for:

  • Rapid, excessive swelling
  • Hot, flushed, tender skin around the bite
  • High pain

If you notice any of these symptoms, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. Get medical help immediately. If you or anyone you know is allergic to certain types of bug bites or stings, make sure they always have an Epi-Pen or similar treatment on hand.

For animal bites, get immediate medical help if:

  • The skin is broken.
  • The bleeding won’t stop.
  • The wound is swelling and/or becoming tender.
  • The animal appeared sick, confused, or rabid.

Staying Safe Around Animals

This summer, your best chance to avoid being bitten is to take preventive measures, such as using bug spray and getting your pets vaccinated. However, things may still go wrong. If you or someone else requires medical attention, make sure you know about treating animal bites or bug bites.

Connect with us to learn more about summer safety.