Health Tip: Treating Dog and Cat Bites

Don't just ignore them

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(HealthDayNews) -- The nice summer weather has more people and animals outside, increasing your risk of being bitten by a dog or a cat.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, if you get bitten, you should:

  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply pressure to the wound with a clean towel to stop the bleeding.
  • Bandage the wound.
  • Keep the injury elevated above the heart to slow swelling and prevent infection.
  • Report the incident to animal control or the police.
  • Later, apply antibiotic ointment to the area twice daily until it heals.

You need to call your doctor if you have a cat bite; you have a dog bite on your hand, foot or head; you have a bite that is deep or gaping; you have diabetes, liver or lung disease, cancer or another condition that could weaken your ability to fight infection; or your last tetanus shot was more than five years ago.

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