Animal attacks sometimes lead to death. Serious injuries from dog and cat bites are on the rise, but experts say the reasons have less to do with the animals and more to do with the irresponsibility of pet owners
Reasons why pets attack
The public health hazard of pet bites could be reduced substantially if pet owners followed certain guidelines in choosing, training, and caring for their pets. And people could lessen their risks of animal attacks if they learned how to act when approached by an aggressive animal.
Some experts have linked the increase of serious dog bites to the rising popularity of typically aggressive breeds of dogs such as Rottweiler and pit bull terriers. However, breeds less known for their aggressiveness, such as cocker spaniels and golden retrievers, have also attacked humans.
Although breed, gender, and age may contribute to aggressiveness, most experts agree that humans are primarily responsible for the bad behavior of their pets. Animals will not curb their aggressive instincts until they are trained and socialized by their owners. Some pet owners may contribute to the problem by encouraging their pets to be aggressive toward strangers. A dog owner, for example, may praise a dog when it barks at passersby— thereby reinforcing that behavior and promoting even more aggression. A person who wants his or her dog to act as a watchdog must learn to strike balance between encouraging desirable protective behavior and discouraging unwanted hostile behavior.
Most dogs have an instinctive territorial desire to protect their owner’s households. In fact, 70 percent of all dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property, according to the CDC. Another indication of the prevalence of dog bites near homes comes from the U.S postal service, which estimates that about 3,000 mail carriers are attacked and bitten by dogs each year.
Health Risks Of Bites And Scratches
Infection of bite wounds is the most common health problem resulting from dog and cat bites. The infection leads to the formation of abscesses (swellings) in the wound area. In some cases, an infection can spread to different areas near the wound site, causing inflammation of a joint and damage to tendons.
Bites from dogs and cats can spread numerous diseases to people. Rabies, one of the best-known and most deadly diseases related to animal bites, is caused by a virus that infects the brain. If rabies patients do not receive a series of anti-rabies vaccinations, most eventually die from cardiac or respiratory failure. Prompt intervention is necessary because the virus can be killed only in the early stages of infection. Although bites from unvaccinated dogs and cats can lead to rabies, most cases of rabies in the united states are caused by bites from such wild animals like bats, skunks, and foxes. Fortunately, deaths of rabies are extremely rare in the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Another disease that can result from dog and cat bites is tetanus, or lockjaw, which is caused by a bacterium that infects the central nervous system. Symptoms include stiffness of muscles and muscle spasms. Tetanus can be fatal in people who have not received vaccination to immunize them against the disease, though antibiotics are sometimes successful in treatment after symptoms set in. Fortunately, most children in the United States have been vaccinated. Adults can protest themselves against tetanus by getting booster vaccination every 10 years.
Although more people seek medical attention for dog bites than cat bites, cat attacks are sometimes more harmful. Cat teeth are much sharper than dog teeth and can push dangerous bacteria deeper into the flesh. Cats mouths also usually contain more of the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, which can cause serious infections.
Prevention Of Bites And Scratches
Most bites can be prevented through proper selection and training of a pet. And people can protest themselves from animal attacks by learning how to behave around strange animals and by teaching appropriate behavioral techniques to their children.
Before buying a pet, an individual needs to consider his or her home situation and lifestyle. For example, if small children are present in a home, it may be best to avoid buying a large dog that has been bred to have an aggressive nature. And because certain dog breeds tend to develop disagreeable personalities if left alone too often, the potential owner should consider the amount of time family members spend away from home.
Visit to U.S. emergency departments according to activity
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The manner in which a pet is trained and socialized has a huge impact on how the animal acts around people. Experts recommend that dog owners begin training their puppies as early as 8 to 10 weeks avoiding such harsh training methods as shocks collars (radio-controlled devices used to administer electric shocks to dogs). The key time for socializing a dog is between 12 weeks to 4 months.
What to do when someone gets bitten.
- Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water
- After cleaning the wound, apply a loose, sterile bandage to it
- Professional medical attention should be sought if:
****the wound is bleeding excessively
****there are signs of infection,such as redness,pain, swelling, and drainage.
**** the victim has not been immunized against tetanus within the previous 10 years.
****there is a possibility that the animal might have rabies
- Contact police or animal control officers, who will try to determine if the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
Tips to prevent dog bites
- Consult with a veterinarian or responsible breeder to determine what breeds might be suitable for you.
- If there are children in your household, do not get a dog that shows signs of aggression.
- Delay obtaining a dog if the child is fearful or apprehensive about it.
- Spend time with a dog before bringing it home
- Spray or neuter virtually all dogs.
- Never leave small children alone with a dog
- Socialize and train any dog entering the household; teach it to be submissive
- Immediately seek professional advice if your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.
- Avoid playing aggressive games, such as wrestling, with your dog.
- Teach children the following safety rules and review regularly:
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Never run from a dog and scream.
- Do not look straight in the dog’s eyes.
- Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
- If bitten, tell an adult immediately.
Steps to avoid animal attacks and injury
When a person encounters an unfamiliar, potentially aggressive dog, experts recommend the following steps to avoid injury.
First, allow the dog to approach you and smell you. Observe the dog’s body language, looking for signs of aggression. Signs that a dog feels threatened and is warning you off include pulled-back ears, a stiff tail, bared teeth, and a low growling. A dog demonstrating these characteristics is extremely sensitive to body movements. To appear as less of a threat, avoid direct eye contact with the 🐕 dog because some dogs can perceive this as a challenge.
Keep an eye on the dog using your peripheral (side) vision. Do not strike or kick the dog, because this might prompt the dog to attack. Rather, speaking in a calm but firm voice, reassure the dog by saying such things as “hello, dog” or “good boy”. You can also try a command the dog might know, such as “sit” or “down”. Watch for signs that the dog is about to attack. Such signs include raised ears and raised tail, direct eye contact, and snapping jaws. Do not run, because running away will encourage the dog to think of you as prey.
If the dog tries to bite you, attempt to feed it clothing, such as a shirt or jacket. Keeping its mouth occupied will prevent it from biting you. If the dog knocks you to the ground, my best advice for you is to face the ground(the way Muslim bend to the ground totally 😄) and cover your head with your arms and lay till.
Recognizing Threatening Animal Behavior
People can avoid dangerous animal attacks by learning how to recognize and respond to animal body signals. When an attack occurs, however, a person must try to protect his or her body from bites.
Signs of a frightened cat that is prepared to attack to defend itself include pulled-back ears, an arched back, and a raised tail, above. A cat 🐈 in this condition is warning off all Intruders and should be left alone.
Signs that a dog feels threatened and is warning a person away include bared teeth, pulled-back ears, and a stiff tail, above. The dog is also usually growling.
If the person doesn’t heed this warning, the dog may attack. Signs of imminent attack are raised ears, a raised tail, and snapping jaws, above.
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