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Most individuals identify themselves as animal lovers. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 60.2percent of American households have a puppy and over 47% have a cat. Not to mention birds, reptiles, and other large mammals! Although animals play a large role in our lives, different triggers can cause an animal to attack.

In a news section on KENS5, it was reported that San Antonio ranks #11 in the nation for dog attacks on postal workers. The CDC also tells us that men and kids are more likely to be attacked by dogs.

Prevention is key: Animals will normally give warning signals before attacking. Growling, hissing, arched back, and reduced ears are simply a couple of the signals that animals give us when they feel threatened.

For puppies: Don’t approach an unknown dog, don’t make eye contact, and back away slowly.

Give the animal an opportunity to calm down before attempting to interact with it.

Wild animals: Keep calm, make yourself look larger than you are, and back away slowly. Never run out of a wild animal; this may trigger their instinct to chase.

Get to safety: Put as much distance between the victim and the creature as possible. Use your own body, clothing, or items such as a purse or backpack to keep the creature from attacking vulnerable areas like the neck and face.

Assess the situation: Depending on the creature and the chances of it being vaccinated, you may or may not require medical aid. If the wounds aren’t too heavy, the animal was vaccinated in the previous 364 days, and you are up-to-date on your tetanus shots, you may safely cleanse the area with soap and water, use an antibiotic ointment on the injury, and bandage it up. Seek medical attention if the harm becomes red, painful, or swollen.

Know when to seek help: Seek medical attention immediately if the victim has deep wounds with excessive bleeding, becomes feverish, or is attacked by an animal which hasn’t been vaccinated in the previous year. Many animals carry dangerous diseases which can lead to infection and, sometimes, even death.

When someone is attacked by any creature, timing is crucial. Save precious time by familiarizing yourself with the locations of local hospitals like the Physicians Premier San Antonio ER where help are available 24 hours a day.

Be sure to check out our Physicians Premier Blog for other tips and information on health and wellness.

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