Now, some of you may be thinking that based on the title of this post that squirrels are evil and aggressive animals. This is not the case. I understand that these posts are about “the dark side of squirrels,” but I swear, squirrels really aren’t evil… just… just read the blog.
Getting bit by a squirrel really isn’t common, at all, but it does happen. Just as people get electrocuted by their toasters and fall into toilets , people also get bit by squirrels every so often. In fact, it is so rare to be bit by a squirrel that one squirrel bite occurs for every 100 dog bites and for every 10 human bites (I personally find that to be a creepy statistic but that’s what the source indicates so I figured I would include it.) Realistically, squirrel bites only occur when you trap the creatures in a corner and harass them, or if you feed them and hold the food in your fingers rather than in your palm. But, if you do get bit by a squirrel, there are some steps you should follow in order to assure that the accident is handled in a safe and proper manner.
The first thing you should know when dealing with squirrel bites is that it is very uncommon for squirrels to carry rabies. Generally, animals that tend to carry rabies (raccoon, possums, etc,) are enemies of the squirrel, meaning that squirrels avoid these animals at all costs and very rarely does the disease spread to them. With this being said, it generally is not necessary to contact animal control unless you are beginning to clearly display signs of rabies.
Initially after being bit, it is a good idea to quickly wash the wound with luke-warm water and disinfect it with alcohol. After doing this, if you are still feeling uneasy about the accident, it may also be a good idea to take a trip to the hospital… which is apparently becoming more and more common for victims of squirrel bites. I say this because as of October of 2015, there is now a unique medical code for reporting a squirrel bite. You see, when you go to the hospital, depending on the illness or injury you have, there is a specific code to record it in medical records for reimbursement purposes. For example, when a patient shows up to a doctor’s office with the flu, the medical code is ICD-9-CM 487.1. For a squirrel bite, the code is W53.21XA. Isn’t that neat? I personally find that to be pretty entertaining.
So, I think that’s about all you really need to know about squirrel bites folks. Don’t go around harassing squirrels and you should be able to avoid this situation entirely. So… just don’t harass them (AKA try to catch them. I know it’s tempting. Just don’t do it. Trust me, I would know.)
I’m kidding I haven’t tried to catch one more than once.