Many avid bicyclists are familiar with a general overview of dog bites as canines can seemingly come out of nowhere while coursing through a neighborhood. Animal attacks can result in a number of complications, especially if the canine breaks the skin. Prolonged bleeding, broken bones and infections are all common issues after an attack, and even rabies may be a concern if the animal is a stray or unvaccinated. Knowing how to react to an attack and, more importantly, how to prevent one is the difference between suffering a nasty injury and riding away without a scratch.
What is a general overview of injuries related to dog bites?
All canines are capable of inflicting damage during an attack, but large breed canines can give chase to a bicycle and deeply puncture the skin. If the rider manages to stay on their bike, canines will usually snap at the legs and knees. If a rider goes to the ground, the canine may attempt to attack the neck or face. In the moments following the attack, the rider may be preoccupied with how the wound looks, but the real danger is the damage done to the tissue under the skin. Bones, nerves, and ligament tissue can all be badly hurt during an attack, and complications may include loss of limb sensation, an inability to use the limb, excessive bleeding or chronic pain.
Infections are another serious concern, and the bacteria in a dog’s mouth can cause lingering symptoms if not treated immediately. In people with weakened immune systems, sepsis and meningitis may result if the wound is not cleaned thoroughly and monitored. One way to clean a dog bite is with a water source. Irrigating the wound can reduce the chances of an infection taking hold and setting in.
How can a bike rider prevent an animal attack?
For the most part, cyclists don’t have to worry about being pursued on any one ride, but the chances of a rider facing one over their lifetime is rather high. For this reason, all cyclists should have a general overview of safety. Dog bites and animal attacks are not entirely preventable with any one tactic, but there are a few steps a rider can take to avoid most aggressive canines.
For one, it is always better for cyclists to travel in a group. Canines are less likely to pursue what they perceive to be a pack of riders, so this is a good practice. Riders should also have a device that can turn canines away. The Sound Defense is one such device and has been shown to be extremely effective at dissuading canines from attacking.
The Sound Defense works by projecting an audible series of tones that surprise and warn the canine. This is usually enough to convince the animal that the rider is too dangerous to approach. It is easy to use, doesn’t have to be precisely aimed, and does not hurt the animal in any way. In short, it is a cyclist’s best friend.
|Aggressive Dog Breeds|