The Medical Guide
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...Animal Bites (or Human)...

  1. What is an Animal Bite?
  2. When to call Emergency Services?
  3. When to go to Accident and Emergency?
  4. When to contact your Doctor?

1. What is an Animal Bite? Page Top
An animal bite can result in a break in the skin, a bruise, or a puncture wound.
If the bite is a puncture wound, it has a greater chance of becoming infected.
Rabies is a rare, but potentially fatal, disease transmitted by the saliva of a rabid animal. If you believe an animal may be rabid, notify the proper authorities. Do not go near an animal that may be rabid.
Examples include a raccoon who is active during the day, a stray pet, an animal that is acting strangely, or one who bites unprovoked. Be particularly cautious with bats.
There is no cure for rabies once symptoms develop. But, if vaccinated promptly after being bitten, you can develop immunity before symptoms develop.
Many animal bites, even if rabies vaccination or stitches are not required, should be treated with antibiotics. Animal bites to the hand or fingers especially warrant antibiotics.
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).
2. When to call Emergency Services? Page Top
Laceration/Wound
Uncontrolled Bleeding From Cut
Symptoms of Shock
3. When to go to Accident and Emergency? Page Top
• Major Trauma
• Bite in a Critical Area
• Wound Over Tendons, Joints
• Human Bite
• Wound Under 6 Hours
• Superficial Laceration
• Bitten Outside of UK
• Tetanus Status
4. When to contact your Doctor? Page Top
Symptoms of Infection / Inflammation
Increasing Pain or Swelling at Injury
Comorbid Conditions, Animal Bite
Increased Pain Over Site of Injury
Fever

The Medical Guide is for information only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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