Animal attacks on pets are up this summer - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Animal attacks on pets are up this summer

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Your pets could be at risk of animal bites or attacks this summer. Vets are seeing more and more injured animals. They're treating pets that have been attacked, not by wildlife, but instead other pets.

Animal Aid Clinic Dr. Rick Nelson says it's a major problem. "Especially in the summer when pets are more mobile than they are in the winter, there's an increase incidence."

He says he treats attack wounds DAILY and often the wounds are worse than they look. "It isn't just the holes that they put in the skin. There's also a crushing injury underneath that wound that makes it a lot worse than they appear on the outside."

Dr. Nelson says that's why it's so important to get your pets treated immediately after an attack. "If you wait 4-5 days until there's a gory abscess of building up underneath the skin it's a whole different ballpark."

At the Saint Joseph County Humane Society, office manager Lisa Grove says the number of animal bites are on the rise. "If the trend continues as it is now we'll have a little bit more than we did last year. I think to date we've had about 184 bites."

She says they've worked cases involving pets biting people, like the picture on the left shows, but MOST bites they see are after one animal attacks another. "People are letting their dogs out and not maybe keeping an eye on them while they're out. They stray, someone tries to catch them, they see another animal and that's when the bites occur."

And believe it or not, the Humane Society says the main perpetrators are felines, not canines.

So during these last few summer months, the experts say, you should keep a close eye on your pets. "It's tough for me as a pet owner to think of anything more tragic than having a loved pet traumatically killed," says Dr. Nelson.

If you or your pet are bitten by a dog or cat, Grove says to report the incident to your county's Humane Society. They can check to see if the animal has had proper vaccinations or not.

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