An animal bite can result in a break in the skin, a bruise, or a puncture wound.
Pets are the most common cause of bites, with dog bites occurring most often. Cat bites may have a higher chance of infection (due to their longer, sharper teeth, which can produce deeper puncture wounds). Stray animals and wild animals, such as skunks, raccoons, and bats, also bite thousands of people each year.
If you are bitten by a wild animal or an unknown pet, try to keep it in view while you notify animal control authorities for help in capturing it. They will determine if the animal needs to be impounded and checked for rabies. Any animal whose rabies vaccination status is unknown should be captured and quarantined.
SymptomsPossible symptoms include:
- Break or major cuts in the skin with or without bleeding
- Crushing injuries
- Puncture-type wound
Certain diseases can also be spread through bites from various animals. These diseases may cause flu-like symptoms, headache, and fever.
- Teach children not to approach strange animals.
- Do not provoke or tease animals.