Anyone can be bitten by an animal. A family pet may bite you accidentally during play, or you may encounter a wild animal while spending time outdoors. No matter how or why the injury occurs, bites often need medical attention based on the type and severity of the wound.
Infection is a major concern associated with animal bites, as animals can transmit diseases through broken skin. Additionally, bites that break the skin and bites on the face, hand, wrist, or foot are more likely to become infected.
Animal bites can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
There may be additional symptoms if the bite becomes infected. These symptoms include:
Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms should seek treatment from a physician to prevent the infection from spreading.
Although some bites are unprovoked, it is possible to lower the risk of an animal bite with these precautions:
Take steps to prevent these and other medical complications from animal bites:
If the wound is small and not the result of a wild animal bite, a person may not need to seek immediate medical attention. Take these steps to care for a minor animal bite that breaks the skin but does not create a deep puncture:
Seek immediate medical care if:
If you wish to see one of our Physicians about an animal bite, you can come into any Patient First center from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., any day of the week – no appointment is needed.
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