Human and Animal Bites

Bites, whether they originate from animals or humans, require IMMEDIATE medical treatment. Since the considerations associated with these two types of bites are different, they will be discussed separately.

HUMAN BITES: It has been said that the human bite is among the worst. Tissue damage is not seen to the extent that one would see in a dog bite, due to differences in the types of teeth. This fact is more than compensated for when it comes to relative risk of secondary bacterial infection. The human mouth is replete with a wide variety of microorganisms, many of which are capable of causing serious, and difficult to treat infections. Bites to the hand will be more serious due to the opportunity for invasive infections, which often require surgical drainage procedures. Common sites for human bites include: penis, scrotum, vulva, breasts, hands, ear, nose, and forearm.Treatment includes meticulous cleaning with an antibacterial soap and immediate examination by a doctor. The wound will be irrigated with sterile saline solution (water). X-rays may be needed to rule out retained foreign matter, or a bone fracture. The wound will be examined for nerve and vascular integrity. Antibiotics are given to reduce the risk of infection. Tetanus vaccination must be up to date within 5 years. Rabies is not a consideration in human bites. Pay close attention for SIGNS OF INFECTION: increasing pain at the site, increased swelling, discharge from the wound, fever, or red streaks spreading from the site.

ANIMAL BITES: The majority of animal bites are made up of dog and cat bites. DOG BITES are the most common animal bites. Aggressive cleansing with an antibacterial soap and meticulous removal of debris is crucial. Animal bites will tend to cause more tissue destruction than human bites. Deeper penetration is common, with associated bone fracture, joint space penetration, or tendon laceration. X-rays are helpful in identifying bone fracture, or retained foreign material in the wound. All these problems have an increased risk of serious infection and will require specific management. Surgical closure will be necessary for larger lacerations, and to improve cosmetic outcome of facial bites. Smaller, nonfacial lacerations may be left open to drain and heal with appropriate wound care. Preventative oral antibiotics are often prescribed. CAT BITES are particularly worrisome because their teeth are long and sharp, causing deep puncture wounds. Bacteria in the cat's mouth can be carried far into the wound. These punctures are difficult to clean and the risk of secondary infection remains high. An effective treatment is soapy warm soaks (dilute dish soap) several times a day for 20 to 30 minutes. This will passively remove debris from the wound and keep it clean. Watch for SIGNS OF
INFECTION: increasing pain at the site, increased swelling or redness, red streaks spreading from the site, discharge from the wound, or fever. Preventative oral antibiotics are necessary. Close medical follow-up is suggested.

RABIES is a consideration in pets without an adequate vaccination history. outinely, if the pet can be quarantined by the appropriate authorities, rabies may be safely excluded without the need for preventative "rabies shots" (5 injections over 28 days). Animals prone to rabies.

decreasing risk, are:








Rabies have also been reported in swine, horses, mules, sheep, goats, bobcats, wolves, weasels, possum, otter and mink. Rabies is extremely RARE in rodents and squirrels.

12 Hip Dislocation
12 Hip Fracture
12 Insect Stings and Spider Bites
12 Human and Animal Bites
12 Shoulder Injury Fracture
12 Toxic Inhalations and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
12 Facial Injury Jaw Fracture and Dislocation
12 Kidney Injury
12 Knee Injury General Considerations
12 Knee Injury Contusion
12 Knee Injury Fracture
12 Knee Injury Sprain
12 Stab Wounds
12 Leg Injury Fractures and Contusions
12 Leg Injury Shin Splints
12 Lightning Injury
12 Oral and Tongue Injuries
12 Nasal Fracture or Contusion
12 Neck Injury General Considerations
12 Neck Injury Fracture
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Pelvic Bone Fracture
12 Puncture Wounds
12 Chest Injury Rib Fracture
12 Back Injury Sacrococcygeal Injury
12 Scorpion Bites
12 Abrasion Injuries
12 Shoulder Injury Clavicle Fracture
12 Shoulder Injury Strains and Sprains
12 Snakebite
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Abdominal Injury Ruptured Spleen
12 Foot Injury Toe Fracture and Sprain
12 Vaginal or Vulvar Injury
12 Drowning and Near Drowning


Abdominal Injury
Abdominal Injury: Contusion
Animal Bites
Ankle Fracture
Ankle Injury
Ankle Injury: Contusion
Ankle Sprain
Back Injury
Back Injury : Sacrococcygeal Injury
Back Strain
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Chemical Burns
Chest Injuries
Chest Injury: Aortic Rupture
Chest Injury: Hemothorax
Chest Injury: Myocardial Contusion
Chest Injury : Pneumothorax
Chest Injury: Pulmonary Contusion
Chronic Back Pain
Clavicle Fracture
Compression Fractures
Decompression Sickness
Disc Disease
Gunshot Wounds
Hand Injury: Fingertip Amputations
Head Injury
Liver Injury
Marine Stings
Muscle Strains
Rib Fracture
Ruptured Spleen
Shoulder Injury: A-C Separation
Spider Bites
Spinal Cord Injury
Sternum Fracture
Testicular Injury
Wrist Injury
hi Scuba Related Injuries
i Hand Injury Finger Amputaion
de Lecerations
de Cold Injury and Hypothermia
dd Dental Injury
xs Facial Injury
sdf Neck Injury
e Shoulder Injury Dislocation
e Ear Injury
ed Elbow Injury
de Elbow Injury Fracture
dfe Elbow Injury Nursemaids
ee Electrical Injury
de Eye Injury
ed Facial Injury General Considerations
fr Facial Injury Contusion
ed Hand Injury Finger Sprains
ded Fingernail and Toenail Injuries
dd Hand Injury Fractures
23 Head Injury Skull Fracture and Concussion
44 Chest Injury Myocardial Contusion
fde Heat Illness
ed Hest Injury Hemothorax
y Back Injury Disc Disease
;l High Altitude Illness

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