Whether it’s an animal you know, or one you don’t, you should take all animal bites very seriously. The major concern for animal bites is infection. When an animal bite punctures your skin, the bacteria from its mouth can enter the wound. If left untreated, the bacteria can grow and cause pain, tissue damage or even more serious problems.
Dogs are the most common cause of animal bites, but infections occur more frequently in cat bites. Cats have sharp, pointed teeth that may cause deeper wounds, presenting a greater risk for trapped bacteria. Other biting animals include rodents, rabbits, ferrets, farm animals and reptiles.
Rabies is a common concern because it’s such a serious infection, but rabies is actually rare and usually results from wild animal bites, such as raccoons and bats. If you’ve been bitten by a dog or cat from the neighborhood, you should ask to see the animal’s vaccination records. If you fear a rabies issue might be present and are unsure of the animal’s rabies vaccination status, please be aware that we do not carry the rabies vaccine and the ER may be more appropriate for your care.
Whether it’s a superficial scratch or a deeper wound, getting treatment quickly can minimize the risk of problems. The top priorities are to stop the bleeding and to clean and protect the injury. Signs your wound may be getting infected include: swelling, redness, warmth, persistent pain or drainage from the wound. It’s important to clear any infection to avoid it from spreading. Symptoms of an infection that’s spreading are more general, and include: fever and swollen glands.
If you want to speak to a medical professional for prompt treatment of an animal bite, stop by your local vybe urgent care and be seen today.
If the animal wound causes severe bleeding that doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of steady and firm pressure, you should call 911.