Monday, April 28, 2008

Chipmunk Bites...

One of my first blog posts, over 2 years ago, was a story about the time I was bitten by a chipmunk while trying to save it from my cat. It amazes me every spring how many people google "Chipmunk bite" and end up here looking for information.

So- as a public service announcement- I'm not going to re-tell the story, but I am going to tell you what to do if you are bitten by a rodent of any kind- this includes chipmunks, squirrels, mice, rabbits, or any other critter you might encounter in your back yard.

Clean the wound, and GO TO THE HOSPITAL, or your closest Urgent Care facility!

The most serious issue at hand is not rabies, even though there is the potential for that, it's a STAPH INFECTION.

My bite was a little one, and after cleaning the wound on my finger I felt I would be seemed overly dramatic and silly to go to a Dr. for a tiny, though bloody, matter. However, my sister (God bless her) insisted I go to Urgent I went.

The bite did not require stitches, but it did require a host of things from disinfectant to 10 days of antibiodics. When I expressed to the Dr. that I thought he was going a bit overboard when he bandaged up my arm and insisted that I keep my hand higher than my heart for the next 24 hours, his reaction was serious.
He said, "Cora, these kind of bites are dangerous because of the germs and bacteria on the teeth of a rodent. A staff infection can kill you in a matter of days if it's not treated aggresively."

I still thought he was over-reacting until a teacher at my son's school was doing yard work and was bitten by a squirrel. She cleaned up the wound, put some neosporin on it and a band-aid and went about her business. Within 3 days she was deathly ill with a fever and an infected hand. She was admitted to the hospital as her organs were shutting down, and was on IV antibiodics for over a month. She almost died from the infection from the squirrel bite.

If you are bitten by a critter that breaks the skin- go see a Dr. It might sound silly when you confess you were a Chipmunk victim, but it's not a laughing matter.
Be seen, take the antibiodics, and be well.


My next post will be about my upcoming Myrtle Beach adventure! :)


X. Dell said...

That's a good post, with good information that might potentially save someone's life. Well done.

sparringK9 said...

grrrherhahaha i remember this! has it been that long? i never see you anymore, 'cept on my bulletin board where you and i are men in black. you are missed. ive been lame on the blogs but wait til you see my new website. woo hoo!

The Phosgene Kid said...

You don't know where that chipmunk's mouth has been!!

Effortlessly Average said...

That's odd. Most people find my blog each spring by Googling "rash from a $20 street walker."

Anonymous said...

bites chipmunk...

now that's news! ;)

do miss you, fair mayden -- hoping you're into a lovely spring and well our of the way of them rodents!

¤ ¤ ¤


exskindiver said...

my sis in law and i are reading this together, and we are thankful for the info.
hi cora.

The Phosgene Kid said...

You got 'munked!!

Libby said...

cora-thanks for this! i never would've even thought about it! squirrels & raccoons i'm deathly afraid of...but a chipmunk???they;re CUTE, for heaven's sake!!

Lance said...

You always have such good hearted stories and good stuff in your post.
God bless,
Lance and the gargus family
Watch out for chipmunks. HAHA! Sorry, you are just so sweet even when your trying to be serious. Keep us posted.

Greg C said...

Good advice Cora. It seems these days anything gets infected. Chipmunks are cute but remember they are rodents.

darkfoam said...

hope you are having a lovely spring and a good visit at myrtle ..

NYD said...

You mean that Alvin, Simon and Theodore aren't the playful little critters I thought they were.
Get thee to a witchdoctor!
It's all out war against Chip and Dale too, I suppose.

Lady Prism said...

Chipmunks! I think they are soooo cute :> Didn't really realize that they could be this dangerous. We don't have chipmunks here though...can't even think of an animal that would come close to looking like one...I'd like to someday see a real chipmunk.

Paul said...

Good information. We didn't even think about it when we were kids...

I had this one gerbil... nearly gave me a pierced ear one day sitting on my shoulder and another time my sister had to shake him off her finger.

He was a wild one, that Clyde...

Anonymous said...

19 years ago when my son was 4 he was bit by a chipmunk while trying to rescue it from our cat. He ended up in the hospital with spinal meningitis. He was very ill. I never even thought that something so small could be so dangerous. We live in an area filled with the little critters, and you can bet I make my grandchildren enjoy them from a distance.

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Unknown said...

Thanks Cora for the real-life experience about being bit by a chipmunk. I was bit last night while saving him from my two cats. I will reach out to my doctor and get medicine.