Animal Bites in the United States

Animal bites in the United States are common, with two to five million incidents reported each year. Dogs are responsible for the vast majority of animal bites (85 to 90%), with cats (5 to 10%) and rats accounting for the remainder (2 to 3%). Bite rates are higher in children than in adults.

Although skin infection is the most common result of an animal bite, rabies is the most dreaded. Bite wounds can be dangerous, resulting in harm and long-term incapacity. Because the skin’s surface is so close to the underlying bones and joints, bite wounds on the hand have a particularly high risk of serious complications.

Why do animals bite?

When an animal gets aroused, bites can occur. If you try to remove food from a dog while it is eating, you may provoke a bite. It’s also possible if you annoy your family pet.

Animal bites, on the other hand, are frequently unexpected. In your own backyard, unexpected bites can happen. A raccoon or squirrel may attack for no apparent reason at times. If this happens, the attacking animal will very certainly become seriously ill.

What to Do?

Soap and water must be used to wash the bitten area. Apply pressure to the bite with sterile gauze or a clean cloth if it is bleeding.

  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the area once the bleeding has stopped.
  • Cover the wound with sterile gauze or a bandage.

Who is at risk?

Animal bites are extremely common, especially in children. Domestic dogs are responsible for the majority of animal bites. Cat bites are less common, but the risk of infection is greater than that of a dog bite.

  • Never leave an infant or a small child alone with a dog.
  • Playing with a dog should only be done under the supervision of an adult.
  • Pet a dog only after it has had a chance to see and smell you.
  • Direct eye contact with a dog should be avoided.
  • If you are approached or knocked down by an unfamiliar dog, stay still.
  • Pet a dog only after it has had a chance to see and smell you.
  • Do not approach a strange dog.
  • Teach children about basic dog safety:
  • If you are bitten, inform an adult instantly.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

After a bite, keep an eye out for signs of infection (i.e., the affected area is very red or warm to the touch, painful, oozing pus, or blood-filled). Seek medical attention if an infection is suspected.

If you have been bitten by an animal, even if the bite only slightly broke the skin, you should be concerned about the possibility of rabies. If the animal is a domestic animal that has been immunized against rabies, simply follow the self-care measures outlined above and keep an eye out for potential infection. Seek immediate medical attention if the animal is wild or domestic and the immunization status is unknown. Contact immediately Stat MD Medical Center and Urgent Care for the best treatment and consultant. We are always with you. There is no wait time at our clinic.