Animal Bites

Serious animal bites can get infected if they’re not checked and treated quickly.

Always seek medical advice if you’ve been bitten by an animal and the bite has broken the skin. Animals have a lot of bacteria in their mouths, which can cause an infection if a bite breaks the skin.These infections are rarely serious if treated quickly, but occasionally they can spread to the blood or other parts of the body.

Serious infections such as tetanus and rabies are extremely rare in the UK, but it’s important to get serious bites looked at as treatment to prevent these infections may be recommended.

There are a number of wild animals that live inBritish Woodland that if treated incorrectly  may potentially bite a human. Follow the link below to see the common woodland animals that may cause a risk.

Picture Reference [5]

The best treatment for animal bites is prevention. Prevention can be achieved through:

  • Ensure a safe distance between the wild animal and those observing.
  • Don’t disturb animals that are eating, sleeping, ill or caring for its young.
  • Avoid running or biking past wild animals.
  • Wear long trousers in longer grass to avoid being bitten.

If you suspect someone has been bitten by an animal:

  1. Wash the wound from the bite thoroughly with soap and warm water. This will reduce the risk of infection from an animal bite.

2. Remove any objects from the bite, such as teeth, hair or dirt.

3. Encourage the wound to bleed slightly by gently squeezing it, unless it’s already bleeding freely.

4. Raise and support the wound and pat it dry, preferably with clean gauze from your first aid kit. Then cover it with a sterile wound dressing.

5. If the wound is large or deep, then treat for bleeding and call 999/112 for an ambulance.

6. If you think there’s a risk of rabies, then you need to get them to hospital as fast as you can.

7. If the wound is dirty or they’re not sure if there if they’ve had a tetanus jab, then tell them to see their doctor.

If going out in the field you may find it useful to take a set of these Flora and Fauna Health and Safety Cards they act as a reminder of what to do in an Emergency should arise. Often these can be stressful situations and a simple reminder can be very helpful. Click on the link below to access the cards.