Wound management and vaccination following animal bite: a study on knowledge and practice among people in an urban area of Pondicherry, India

Bijaya Nanda Naik, Swaroop Kumar Sahu, Ganesh Kumar S


Background: Correct wound management and vaccination following animal bite prerequisite for prevention of rabies. Objective: To find out knowledge and practice about the correct wound management and vaccination following animal bite among the individuals in a selected urban area of Pondicherry.

Methods:This explorative study was conducted in the field practice area of a tertiary care institution in urban Pondicherry. A total of 156 individuals one each from 156 households were selected and included after obtaining verbal informed consent. Using a pretested semi structured questionnaire, we obtained information on knowledge about wound care following animal bite and vaccination against rabies, and details of animal bite to any household members anytime in the past.

Results: Only 19% of the respondents could name “Rabies” as the cause of death following animal bite. All the respondents had known about immediate initiation of anti-rabies vaccine following animal bite and its free availability in government hospitals. However, only one third of the respondents were aware of immediate washing of wound with soap and water following animal bite. The last one year incidence of animal bite was found to be 0.87% (6/682). Majority of the animal bite cases belonged to Class II (58%) and, involved dogs (88%), males (79.2%) and people from low socio-economic status (96%). All the individuals with animal bites had initiated anti-rabies vaccine within 24 hours of bite, however only two third had washed their wound with soap and water immediately following animal bite. About 17% of the animal bite victims had applied oil or turmeric over the wound.

Conclusions:Incorrect immediate wound care following animal bite is a concern for prevention of rabies in this area. Health education should be strengthened on certain aspects like disease causation, wound care following animal bite and before coming in contact with a health facility to this population.


Wound management, Animal bite, Rabies, Anti-rabies vaccine

Full Text:



Wandeler AI, Matter HC, Kappeler A, Budde A. The ecology of dogs and canine rabies: a selective review. Rev Sci Tech Int off Epizoot 1993;12(1):51–71.

Park K. Park’s text book of preventive and social medicine. 22nd ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas-Bhanot; 2013.

Kakrani VA, Jethani S, Bhawalkar J, Dhone A, Ratwani K. Awareness About Dog Bite Management In Rural Population. Indian J Community Heal 2013;25(3):304 – 308.

WHO | Animal bites [Internet]. WHO [cited 2015 Mar 25]; Available from:

Sudarshan MK, Mahendra BJ, Madhusudana SN, Ashwoath Narayana DH, Rahman A, Rao NSN, et al. An epidemiological study of animal bites in India: results of a WHO sponsored national multi-centric rabies survey. J Commun Dis 2006;38(1):32–9.

Singh U, Choudhary S. Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour and Practice Study on Dog-Bites and Its Management in the Context of Prevention of Rabies in a Rural Community of Gujarat. Indian J Community Med. 2005;30(3):81.

Ichhpujani RL, Chhabra M, Mittal V, Bhattacharya D, Singh J, Lal S. Knowledge, attitude and practices about animal bites and rabies in general community--a multi-centric study. J Commun Dis 2006;38(4):355–61.

Valekar S, Kshirsagar M, Ashturkar M, Mhaske M, Chawla P, Fernandez K. A cross-sectional study of awareness regarding dog bite and its management in rural community of Maharashtra. Int J Community Med Public Heal. 2014;1(1):8.

Prakash M, Bhatti VK, Venkatesh G. Rabies menace and control – An insight into knowledge, attitude and practices. Med J Armed Forces India. 2013;69(1):57–60.

Murugan V, Dongre AR, Ganapathy K. An Epidemiological Study of Animal Bites and Envenomings in a Rural District of Tamilnadu, India. Online J Health Allied Scs. 2014;13(4):4.

Ichhpujani RL, Mala C, Veena M, Singh J, Bhardwaj M, Bhattacharya D, et al. Epidemiology of animal bites and rabies cases in India. A multicentric study. J Commun Dis. 2008;40(1):27–36.

Rasania SK, Bhalla S, Khandekar J, Pathi S, Matta S, Singh S. Post exposure management of animal bite cases attending a primary health center of Delhi. J Commun Dis. 2004;36(3):195–8.

Vyas S, Gupta K, Bhatt G, Tiwari H. Animalbite management practices: Study at three municipal corporation hospitals of Ahmedabad. National Journal of Community Medicine. 2010;1(2):75–8.

Shetty RA, Chaturvedi S, Singh Z. Profile of animal bite cases in Pune. J Commun Dis. 2005;37(1):66–72.