A bite or scratch from any wild animal, or even that of a domestic house pet like a dog or cat, can be dangerous. Even if the wound is minor, it can become infected and spread throughout your body. Further, any bite can carry disease. One of the most common causes for worry among wild animal bites is rabies.
What Is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral infection of warm-blooded animals. It is most commonly found in bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes in North America, although wild animals can infect dogs, cats, and livestock. The disease attacks the nervous system and, once symptoms develop, it is 100 percent fatal in animals.
How Do You Get Rabies?
You can contract rabies through a cut or scratch on your body, or through the mucous membranes (the lining of your eyes or mouth). The virus travels to your central nervous system in your brain and then travels to various organs where it multiplies.
- Stage 1 (symptoms lasting 2 to 10 days)
- Decreased Appetite
- Pain, itching or numbness around the wound site
- Stage 2
- Difficulty swallowing
- Becoming paralyzed
How To Diagnose Rabies
Animals are diagnosed fairly quickly. A test called direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA) is most often used by laboratories and results can be had in as little as a few hours. In humans, it is a bit more complex. Several tests must be completed for confirmation including saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies from the back of the neck.
What Is The Treatment For Rabies
There is not a cure for rabies and it is more difficult to treat once symptoms have presented. However, there are vaccines that provide rabies immunity following exposure or to prevent it (which is useful for people who work with animals like vets).
What To Do If Bitten By Wild Animal
- Wash the wound with soap and water.
- If bleeding, apply pressure.
- Dry and cover the wound, but do not use tape or bandages to prevent trapping bacteria.
- Call your doctor or healthcare professional for further instructions.
- Locate the animal that bit you if possible.
How To Prevent Being Bitten
- Avoid strange or sick animals.
- Do not bother animals who are eating.
- Keep pets on a leash.
- Do not separate fighting animals.
- Always get your family pets their rabies shots.
- Supervise your pets outside.
- Do not play with or approach wild animals.
As soon as you suspect you may have a wild animal infestation, call Attic Solutions immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with the issue. We will remove the animals and fix any property damage they may have caused.