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What do I do if a raccoon bites me?

What do I do if a raccoon bites me? Though it might be a little too late to say this (depending on whether you read this before or after you get bitten), but maybe approaching the frightened (and clearly violent) racoon wasn’t such a great idea? Still, all jokes aside, a bite from a racoon isn’t something you should take lightly.

Sure, it may hurt and even bleed quite a bit, but you may be tempted just to bandage the wound up and forget about it, a mistake you could very well end up paying with your life. But whatever you do, don’t panic. Dealing with this solution isn’t hard so long as you keep a cool head and follow these instructions.

First aid

Firstly, you need to clean the wound and bandage it up; you’ve already got potential diseases from the racoon to worry about, you don’t want bacteria from the environment entering your open cut and adding to your problems. Wash the bite thoroughly with water and soap, finally cleaning it with an antiseptic (caution, this may sting), and then wrap the wound up with a clean bandage, ensuring the bleeding stops completely.

Recall the specifics of the incident

While you really should get your bite looked at (more on that later), recalling the particulars of the incident is important since the details can help you analyse why you were bitten and whether or not you may actually be in danger. Recalling these details helps keep them fresh in your memory so you can aid the doctor in his diagnosis of your bite.

Unless the racoon attacked you unprovoked, you could breathe a little easier knowing there’s a really low chance of it being a rabid racoon’s bite. In this scenario, it’s more likely that it was a mother racoon that attacked you for fear of its cubs, though why a racoon attacked you still doesn’t change the fact that you need to get your wound looked at.

Don’t forego a visit to the hospital

Even if you’re sure the animal wasn’t rabid, you still have to get your wound looked at. Put simply, you may be wrong in your conclusions, and the bite may have actually been from a rabid racoon. Or the racoon may have been infected with some other disease, which it could have passed on to you. Or you may not have cleaned the cut properly, leaving it exposed to other germs. Either way, there is no scenario where you wouldn’t benefit from getting yourself checked at a hospital. Better safe than sorry.

Keep an eye for any little changes to your health

Even if your doctor isn’t able to find any prominent issues with your health right after the bite, he’d still advise you to monitor your health for the next couple of weeks, since some diseases take some time to incubate. In this period, you should treat every minor health issue you have as serious, getting yourself looked at the second an issue becomes a little too serious. Treating a disease is always easier if it’s caught early on.

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