Animal bites like cats and dogs bite are quite common. Animal bites usually occur on hands, arms, and legs. Cats and dogs bite often cause minor lesions and can be treated by appropriate wound care. According to WHO, ten million people get affected by dog bites worldwide every year. Most of these injuries are caused by our beloved pets.
Animal bites can get infected if not checked and treated immediately. Cat and dog bites range from trivial to lethal, and children are at a greater risk of getting bitten. An animal bite punctures or cuts the skin. These injuries may be shallow or deep cuts and may be life-threatening also.
If a dog or cat bites people, individuals should:
Serious bites may require medical attention. Call a doctor if:
Signs that indicate infection at the site of the bite
The signs and symptoms which indicate that a wound has become infected include:
Any animal has a potential to bite. Usually, bites are caused by individual’s own pet or neighbours pet. Animals act unpredictably, and bites are always not provoked. Any animal is more likely to bite if it is disturbed, feels threatened or is overexcited.
The most important complication of bites is infection. If the infection is not controlled on time, it can spread and cause infection of the blood and other parts of the body. Bites may cause the following infections: Cellulitis (affects the skin)
Rarely, life-threatening infections like rabies and tetanus can also be caused due to bites. Dogs are most common carriers of rabies infection. All dogs should be vaccinated at least once in 3years to prevent rabies.
The treatment is based on the situation and severity of the injury caused by the bite. The doctor would do the following to treat a bite injury:
It is good to avoid playful acts with wild or stray animals, as they can be aggressive. Stray animals have high chances of carrying serious infections like rabies and tetanus. The following measures may reduce the chances of being bitten:
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