Worldwide animal bites pose a major public health problem in society. The most common animal bite is dog bite which accounts for 76-94% of the injuries. The information was revealed by Dr Kirti Dua, Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana. He was sharing some important remedies about different types of animal bites. Dr Dua informed that children make the largest percentage of people bitten by the dogs. In our country monkey bite comes second after the dog bite and it accounts for 2-21% of bite injuries. Monkey bite is important among the travelers. Cat bites are commonly second to dog bites in terms of incidence in Western countries. Snake bites are most common among people living in rural areas. Worldwide, up to five million people are bitten by snakes every year. Cobra, Krait and Viper are the important venomous snakes found in India.
He suggested that in case of any animal bite early medical management including wound cleansing is very important. Prophylactic antibiotics are must to decrease infection risk. Rabies post-exposure treatment is also necessary depending on the animal vaccination status. Administration of tetanus vaccine is also required if the person has not been adequately vaccinated.
Dr Dua emphasized that treatment should be started as early as possible after exposure. Pregnancy and lactation are no contraindications for rabies vaccination. Exposure to rodents, rabbits and hares does not require specific anti-rabies treatment. The application of soil, chilies, oil etc. is unnecessary and damaging.
He also shared some important tips to save one from bites. Animal bites can be prevented by educating communities especially children –about the risks of animal bites and prevention techniques such as avoiding stray animals and never leaving a child unattended around any animal. Snake bite risks can be prevented by avoiding tall grassy areas, wear protective shoes and keep storage areas clear of rodents. Animal bites, if managed appropriately and timely the disease is preventable to a large extent.