Domestic pets cause most animal bites. Dogs are more likely to bite than cats, however, cat bites are more likely to cause infection. Bites from domestic animals that have not been immunized and bites from wild animals carry the risk of rabies. Rabies are more common in raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely harbor rabies. If you or your child is bitten by an animal, follow these guidelines:
If the bite barely breaks the skin, treat it as a minor wound. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic to prevent infection and cover it with a clean bandage. There are three herbs that make great antibiotics and they are also anti-inflammatory. Goldenseal, St. Johnswort, and Yerba Mansa. Apply a poultice or tincture before covering the wound.
Note: There are several antibiotic salves that you can make yourself on the Salves & Ointments page. If the animal has not been vaccinated for rabies, see your doctor immediately.
If the bite is a deep puncture wound or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and see your doctor.
If you notice signs of infection such as swelling, redness, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately.
If you suspect the bite was caused by an animal that might harbor rabies — any unprovoked bite from a wild or domestic animal of unknown immunization status — see your doctor immediately.