First Aid – Animal Bites & Scratches

All animal bites can be contaminated with bacteria and, possibly, viruses such as rabies. Therefore all bites and scratches should be cleaned thoroughly as a matter of course. If the incident happens in countries where rabies is endemic, you should consider the possibility that you have been exposed to rabies and get medical treatment asap.

1. Gently scrub wound for five minutes.
Always use soap or detergent and running water

2. Remove foreign material.
Such as dirt, or broken teeth or nails.

3. Rinse wound with plain water.

4. Thoroughly drench the wound with antiviral agent.
Use povidone or (0.01%) aqueous iodine or 40-70% alcohol (spirits contain 40% alcohol). Antiseptic lotion is better than nothing if that is all there is to hand.

5. Get medical assistance asap.
If antirabies vaccinations are given within two days of the bite occurring, rabies is almost always prevented.

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