Guide to First Aid Treatment for Animal Bites

Written By: First Aid Training Bangkok

Important Information

Some bites by venomous creatures result in no venom being injected into the victim causing only minor irritation. However, because symptoms may be delayed, you should encourage the patient to seek professional medical follow up.

Persons bitten by a venomous snake or reptile may have the fang marks with pain, swelling and skin discolouration at the bite site; They may complain of weakness, nausea, difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing, headache, blurred vision and tingling or numbness around the face and mouth; They may have a rapid pulse, fever, chills and may vomit

Insect bites usually result in pain, redness, itching and swelling at the site of the bite; Some patient's may experience delayed reactions such as fever, painful joints, hives and swollen glands

Treat any bite by a highly venomous creature, produces a deep wound, or alters the patient's breathing or consciousness level as a medical emergency and follow primary care procedures.

If possible, contact your local Poison Control Center (PCC) for directions while waiting for EMS to arrive.

For many venomous bites, use pressure immobilization to slow the spread of the venom.

First Aid Tips for Bites

How should you treat bites and stings and what should you do if you get bitten or stung by an unknown insect?

  • If there is a stinger embedded in the skin you might use the edge of a credit card to flick it out gently.
  • If the bite is extremely itchy or swollen you could apply some ice to the area which helps to reduce the itchiness and swelling.
  • If you were bitten all over your body and feel very itchy all over you should see your doctor who will prescribe some topical cream or medication.
  • If you have fever or chills after the bite you should see a doctor immediately for treatment.
  • Caution: Some severe bites and stings may lead to an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions often produce large swelling over the sting area or around the mouth and eyes.
  • Rashes sometimes develop all over the body and you may experience tightening of the airways leading to breathlessness. Seek immediate medical treatment if any of these signs appear.

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