You are an avid animal lover. Dogs and cats are the most favoured animals. But at times they are not that attractive. They are responsible for more than a million bites the world over, with children suffering from half of them. Cats love to scratch their nails on your body.

Your other pet hamster has bitten your fingers. Your parrot has poked you with its beak. There are a variety of ways that animals can hurt you. Their bites should not be ignored.

Dogs and cats in particular contain bacteria in their saliva and can cause infection. Hence if you are bitten by any animal, even household ones, you should be treated by a doctor. But you can also follow the tips given below along with other medications to speed up healing:

Wash the wound thoroughly: After you have controlled the bleeding by pressing firmly against the wound with your hand, clean the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove any traces of saliva and any other contamination as soon as possible. Continue washing for full five minutes. You can also wash the wound with anti-bacterial liquid poured on a cotton ball and apply it to the infected area.

Cover the wound: Cover the wound with a bandage to protect it from infection. The bandage should be applied loosely so that the wound does not fester due to lack of exposure to air. You can also cover the wound with a sterile gauze pad.

Take a pain reliever: All bites are painful, even those that do not break the skin. Hence, take aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce the pain. Do not wait for the area to swell. Elevate the area if possible and apply ice or cold pack wrapped in a towel. But avoid giving aspirin to children.

If the bite is deep or if the wound bleeds continuously, you should visit the doctor immediately. If the bite is caused by a stray animal, you are better off visiting the doctor. You should also visit the doctor if there is any swelling, redness or pain around the wound.

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