02/21/2014

Animal Bites

 

Bites are extremely common and can cause significant pain and may rapidly progress to infection and stiffness in the hand.  Early and appropriate treatment is key to minimizing potential problems from a bite.

Bites are extremely common and can cause significant pain and may rapidly progress to infection and stiffness in the hand.  Early and appropriate treatment is key to minimizing potential problems from a bite.

When an animal bites, bacteria from its mouth contaminate the wound.  These bacteria then may grow in the wound and cause infection.  The result of the infection ranges from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications.

Many factors contribute to development of an infection, including the type and location of the wound, pre-existing health conditions in the bitten person that impair their immunity (such as diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, HIV), delay in treatment, the presence of a foreign body in the wound (such as a chip off a tooth), and the type of animal that bit the individual.