Monday, April 28, 2008
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 fine...it 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 care...so 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! :)