Guinea pigs as bad as sharks for paramedics

PARAMEDICS say they have been called out to treat as many guinea pig bites as they have shark attacks in NSW over summer.

The NSW Ambulance Service has put out a warning for the public to watch out for animal dangers closer to home following more than 230 dog bites across the state in the past five months.

Since September 1 there has also been 22 call-outs for cat-related attacks and one involving a water buffalo.

In that incident, on January 16, a 54-year-old man was gored by the buffalo after it threw him into the air at Collombatti on the NSW north coast.

The two shark attacks in NSW were recorded in December, one at South West Rocks on the north coast involving a 30-year-old male, while a 29-year-old male lost his index finger and was bitten in the thigh at Diamond Head.

The most serious guinea pig attack, a deep bite on the hand, was at Camden on December 11. The other occurred at Mollymook beach on October 7.

Horses accounted for 15 call-outs where an animal has bitten, kicked or rolled on a person and there was nine instances where farmers were either trampled, charged or kicked.

The NSW Ambulance said any puncture wound caused by an animal should be examined by a health professional and that all animal bites required an Adult Diphtheria and Tetanus (ADT) vaccination.

This story Guinea pigs as bad as sharks for paramedics first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.