First Aid

First Aid for a Rabid Animal Bite

Getting a bite from an animal is unpleasant enough; add rabies into the mix and you get a really nasty injury.

Rabies is a virus that can have deadly effects. It is transmitted by warm-blooded animals and transmitted through saliva in bites. Luckily, rabies is now highly treatable, as long as treatment is sought and gotten. Regardless, it’s still very painful and treatment can be inconvenient. The way first aid is delivered can have a huge impact on how the recovery process goes.

Neutralize the Animal Threat

If someone gets bitten by an animal, then your first priority needs to be to make sure that it doesn’t hurt anyone else, especially yourself. You make the situation worse by getting yourself injured, so always be extra careful. If you’re dealing with a rabid animal, don’t hesitate to use lethal force to take it down. If you don’t, law enforcement will. Use only weapons that you are familiar with and certified to use. Alternatively, you can trap it in a fence or room.

Ideally, though, you should avoid contact with the animal altogether. Bring the bitten person to a safe place that the animal can’t reach, and stay there until emergency response comes. Do not go “hunt” the animal; call for help. Only confront the animal if it’s still presenting an immediate danger to you or others.

Identify if the Animal is Rabid

Here are some common symptoms of rabies

  • If the animal is usually friendly, then an aversion to humans and others
  • If the animal is usually hostile or fearful, then a lack of caution in the presence of humans
  • Strange noises
  • Lack of balance and motor control
  • Foam at the mouth

Call for Help

You should immediately call emergency services after any animal attack whether or not it’s rabid. If possible, provide a description of the animal, its location, and whether its rabid. If the person is seriously injured, request an ambulance. If the injury isn’t serious, you can have the person driven to the hospital.

Treat the Wound

You should perform first aid on the wound as you normally would for any cut or gash. Clean it, sanitize it, and bandage it. Rabies isn’t an immediate threat, and it’s not one that you can do anything about anyway.

Get the Person Professional Help

If you asked for an ambulance, be ready with as much information as possible for the medical personnel that arrive. Otherwise, drive the person to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Remember, rabies isn’t immediately dangerous, so you don’t have to go dangerously quick.

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