FIGURES released by the Ambulance Service of NSW have revealed it is the animals with which we share our homes and properties that are likely to cause harm and even serious injury.
In the five months from September 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013 paramedics treated at least 237 people across NSW for dog bites and attacks, and 22 people for incidents involving cats.
In the southern region alone there were eight reports of attacks or bites, including one bite by guinea pig at Mollymook Beach last October.
Also in October there was a report of a dog attack and bite at Worrigee.
Sanctuary Point featured in three dog attacks, one in November and two in December, while in January Culburra Beach and Basin View also recorded dog attacks.
A 30-year-old Broulee man also suffered an attack by a stingray last month.
The figures from across the state revealed that from outside the home, horses accounted for 15 responses where the animal has either bitten, kicked or rolled on a person, while farmers had their share of grief with nine incidents involving people being either trampled, charged or kicked.
More obscure attacks involved stingrays, two attacks by sharks, one by a water buffalo and one blue-ringed octopus envenomation.
Paramedics advised that the puncture wound caused by an animal should always be assessed and cleaned by a health care professional.
Cleaning is important because animals come into contact with undesirable bacteria and germs, and this can be transferred through their claws and teeth, and cause serious health issues such as tetanus.
As a rule, all animal bites will require an Adult Diphtheria and Tetanus (ADT) vaccination.