Animal bites

Animal bites

If you have ever been bitten by an animal, you may be asking yourself if you should go to the ER or call your primary care physician’s office. After all, going to the ER isn’t exactly cheap and it can take hours to see the doctor. On the other hand, what if your primary care physician decides that it isn’t necessary to see a doctor at all? This article will give you guidance on deciding whether or not to visit the emergency room in case of animal bites.

Things you shouldn’t ignore

If you have an animal bite, you’ll want to look at it right away. And you shouldn’t try to clean it on your own. You could risk infection if bacteria get into your bloodstream, which can lead to serious problems like staph or even rabies. Your doctor will take a culture of any bacteria present in your wound and prescribe antibiotics based on those results. The doctor may recommend further testing if he or she suspects infection by rabies or tetanus-causing organisms (Clostridium tetani). If there are no signs of infection and you didn’t break skin with part of the animal’s tooth, then it’s not necessary to see a doctor immediately; give yourself 24 hours before seeking medical attention.

Things you can wait on but shouldn’t

You should not be waiting for a non-emergency medical problem to become an emergency. The longer you wait, or fail to seek treatment, the more serious your issue will become. A few common situations where treatment is best sought quickly include: Animal Bites – An animal bite is a true emergency. It doesn’t matter if you are bitten by a small pet like a cat or dog, or by something like a bear or crocodile—every bite wound must be seen by a physician immediately. This is especially true of puncture wounds (as opposed to lacerations) because they can lead to infections and even sepsis with very little delay.

Non urgent but important things that should be addressed

Tell your doctor about all aspects of your lifestyle including medication (i.e., birth control, antacids, cholesterol medicines), dietary supplements, tobacco or alcohol use, or pregnancy. They will take these things into account when treating you and prescribing pain medications. In addition to that they will do a medical assessment so if anything else should come up during treatment they will be able to address it right away. More than likely your dog has been seen by a veterinarian since he bit you but I would still call them in case there is something they need to tell you that may affect treatment.