While wildlife intruders are a fairly common occurrence in the daily life of homeowners in America, getting bitten by one of them is not usually at the top of our worry-list, since most of these creatures won’t attack unless they feel they have no other choice.
Our pets, however, are a bit of a different matter. Wildlife intruders have been known to attack smaller pets, and on occasion, even go after bigger dogs, if they felt threatened by that animal. Obviously, this is a very real threat that you, as a pet owner, need to be prepared for. Remember, the more swiftly you act, the better the outcome for all involved. However, to avoid this situation in the first place there are some steps you can take:
- Do your research. Knowing what kind of pests you’re most likely to encounter in your area will help you to distinguish between skunk bites (and also know what specific skunk diseases those carry) and rat bites (and their respective dangers).
- Keep your backyard trimmed and fix any cracks or holes as soon as you notice them, to deter wild animals from coming to your home. Also, don’t leave food out in the open, as that is also a common attraction for wildlife animals.
If your pet does get bitten by a wild animal, here is what you should do:
1. Call the vet and head to their office as rapidly as possible.
You should do this as soon as you discover the bite, even if you don’t know what kind of animal bit your poor pet. Most homeowners aren’t able to tell from the bite marks alone, and it’s best to be safe rather than sorry in these cases.
Even if the bite didn’t come from a venomous creature, like a snake, you will still want to get your pet checked out, in case the animal that bit it was rabid. Depending on the size of the wound, the vet will either give your pet an antibiotic (for smaller wounds) or drain the wound (for bigger ones). In extreme cases, pain management medication may also be necessary.
2. Follow the vet’s instructions carefully.
Once the immediate care has been dealt with, the vet will give you a specific set of instructions for caring for your pet’s wound. This might mean getting medicine and feeding it to your pet at the appropriate times, cleaning the wound, and other such activities. Although your pet has been seen by a professional and is no longer in immediate danger, you still need to be careful that their wound doesn’t fester and get infected, otherwise, your pet’s life will once again be at risk. So take good care of your pet after a bite, even after a less severe one.
3. Be gentle.
While this is not the case for all animals, some pets become scared after being bitten or being in a fight with a wild animal. This might mean your pet is wary of going outside or being left on its own for a while. In such cases, it’s best to proceed with kindness and pamper your pet for a while.
4. Remove the wild animal from your property.
Once your pet is out of immediate danger and you’re both at home, you should find a pro to help remove the wild animal. The good thing is that the vet will usually identify the animal that left the marks on your pet, so that will make the search for a pro easier. Ideally, look for a wildlife removal company that uses humane methods rather than killing the animal.