Animal Bites: What You Have to Know

Animal Bites: What You Have to Know

An animal chew is a typical harm that may result in critical issues. It’s estimated that canine bites make up about 1{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266} of all injury-related emergency room visits in the US every year. Whereas most animal bites should not life-threatening, they will grow to be harmful once they grow to be contaminated. When this happens, micro organism can rapidly unfold to different areas of the physique. 

It’s potential to be bitten by a wild animal, however most animal bites come from an animal you understand, akin to a pet. Animals are inclined to chew once they really feel pressured or threatened.

This text will describe the various kinds of animal bites and how you can deal with them. It can additionally clarify when to hunt medical care. 

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Why Do Animals Chew?

Animals normally don’t chew except they really feel threatened ultimately. An animal could chew in the event that they really feel pressured, scared, or startled. They could additionally chew in an effort to guard one thing vital to them like their meals. Animals which can be sick or injured usually tend to chew as nicely. Pets which can be taking part in with you might nip or calmly chew you. 

Completely different Varieties of Animal Bites

Animal bites differ based mostly on the kind of animal that’s concerned. An animal chew seems like a break or tear within the pores and skin and is almost definitely to occur to kids. Canine are the most typical reason for animal bites. Cats are much less more likely to chew, however their bites are extra susceptible to an infection. 

Wild Animal Chew

Wild animal bites are uncommon however may be critical. Wild animals normally don’t method folks except they really feel threatened or are sick. A wild animal chew might come from a bat, raccoon, skunk, or fox. 

If in case you have been bitten by a wild animal, then rabies is a priority. Whereas extremely uncommon, it’s potential to be contaminated with rabies from an animal chew. 

Canine Chew

Canine bites are the most typical sort of animal chew and normally happen with a canine that’s identified to you. It’s estimated that canine bites account for 85{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266} to 90{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266} of all animal bites in the US. Nearly all of canine bites occur to kids. 

When a canine bites the pores and skin, its small entrance tooth normally trigger tears within the pores and skin. This ends in an open wound with jagged edges.

Cat Chew

Whereas cat bites should not practically as frequent as canine bites, they are often extra harmful. It is because cats’ tooth are longer and sharper than canine’. This results in a deeper minimize and an elevated danger of an infection. That is particularly regarding in an older cat as a result of components of their tooth could break off within the wound.

If you’re involved that you’ve developed an an infection from an animal chew, contact your healthcare supplier instantly.


Signs of an animal chew embody:

  • Damaged or torn pores and skin
  • Puncture wound
  • Ache 
  • Bruising
  • Tendon or joint harm 

What Causes An Animal Chew An infection?

Any time the pores and skin barrier is damaged, the danger of an infection will increase. An animal chew can rapidly result in an an infection due to micro organism discovered within the animal’s mouth that’s then launched into the pores and skin. 

It’s estimated that about 50{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266} of canine bites infect the physique with micro organism like staphylococcus, streptococcus, Pasteurella, and capnocytophaga. Wild and unvaccinated animals can carry the rabies virus as nicely.


Rabies is a critical viral an infection in sure warm-blooded animals. As soon as rabies signs current in an grownup or youngster, the virus is sort of at all times deadly. If in case you have been bitten by an unknown animal, it’s essential that you simply speak along with your healthcare supplier about your rabies danger. It’s potential to stop rabies after an animal chew with immunization. 

Cats are the most typical home animal to have rabies. Raccoons, bats, and skunks are the most typical wild animals. 

When to Search Medical Care

By no means hesitate to contact your healthcare supplier after an animal chew. Search medical care for those who or your youngster are bitten by a wild animal, a stray, or a pet that you simply have no idea. 

Different occasions to hunt medical care embody:

  • The chew is in your face, head, neck, hand, or ft
  • The bleeding won’t cease
  • The wound is deep
  • You possibly can see muscle or bone uncovered
  • There are indicators of an infection akin to redness, swelling, growing ache, or pus coming from the wound
  • You could have a fever
  • It has been greater than 10 years since your final tetanus shot
  • You’re not sure if the animal has been vaccinated towards rabies

If the animal chew won’t cease bleeding, maintain steady strain on it whereas making your strategy to the emergency room or pressing care clinic. 

For those who or your youngster have been bitten by an animal that’s behaving in a wierd manner, search medical care instantly and name animal management or your native police. 


To diagnose an animal chew, your healthcare supplier will conduct an intensive historical past and bodily examination. This may assist them to find out your an infection danger and which therapies are wanted. Your healthcare supplier will ask a number of questions together with:

  • What sort of animal bit you?
  • Have you learnt if this animal has been vaccinated towards rabies?
  • How did the chew occur?
  • How did you clear the wound?
  • Did you apply an antibiotic ointment?
  • Was the animal performing surprisingly or aggressively?
  • When was your final tetanus shot?


To deal with an animal chew at residence, instantly wash it with cleaning soap and water. Rinse the wound for not less than 3 to five minutes. If the wound is bleeding, maintain agency strain on it with gauze. As soon as the bleeding has stopped, apply antibiotic cream or ointment to a clear bandage and canopy the wound.

If the wound appears deep or won’t cease bleeding, you might want stitches. That is very true for animal bites on the face. 

Your healthcare supplier could suggest taking an antibiotic remedy to stop an infection after a chew. Animal bites on the hand and fingers are essentially the most susceptible to resulting in an infection. Giving antibiotics to sufferers with a hand-wound can decrease the danger of an infection from 28{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266} to 2{95edf3774a43a2a8f4e23e11552dd2735f79d98bee3a3168ac774c40966be266}.


Fortuitously, there are steps you may take to assist forestall animal bites. As a result of most animal bites occur to kids, it’s vital to show them how you can be secure round animals. Clarify that it’s by no means okay to method an unknown animal. Don’t depart kids alone with an animal, even a pet. Train youngsters to keep away from touching an animal’s face and to by no means tease a pet. 

By no means method a wild animal, particularly whether it is behaving surprisingly or aggressively. Don’t attempt to separate animals which can be combating. 

To cut back the danger of your canine biting anybody, be certain that they’re educated and socialized. Socializing a canine from the time they’re younger reduces the probabilities of them changing into scared and biting out of concern. 

Lastly, guarantee that each your loved ones and your pets are updated on their vaccinations. 


Animal bites are a comparatively frequent harm that may result in critical an infection. Whereas it’s potential to be bitten by a wild animal, most animal bites come from a identified animal akin to a pet. Animals are inclined to chew once they really feel pressured or threatened ultimately. One of the simplest ways to stop animal bites is to by no means method an unknown animal and to chorus from teasing or taking part in too roughly with a pet.

A Phrase From Verywell 

Being bitten or seeing your youngster bitten by an animal is a scary expertise. Fortuitously, most animal bites heal on their very own and don’t result in issues. If in case you have been bitten and are involved that the wound is changing into contaminated, see your healthcare supplier instantly.

Regularly Requested Questions

  • How lengthy does it take for an animal chew an infection to go away?

    The period of an animal chew an infection depends upon a number of elements. If the an infection has unfold to the blood or different areas of the physique, it will possibly take months to heal. 

  • How painful is an animal chew?

    An animal chew may be fairly painful relying on how extreme it’s. In case your ache feels uncontrolled, search medical therapy instantly. 

  • Which animal has the strongest chew?

    Cat bites are usually deeper than canine bites as a result of their tooth are longer and sharper.