Urgent Care for Animal Bites
Animal bites are a relatively common type of wound. An estimated 1 to 2 million animal bites occur annually, according to the Wilderness and Environmental Journal. Of those, 80 percent are dog bites, 5 to 10 percent are cat bites, and 2 to 3 percent are rodent bites. You may not think a bite is dangerous if the wound is small. However, if the skin has been broken, even a minor injury can become infected and potentially life-threatening. If you are dealing with an animal bite (or any wound) that concerns you, visit Bayside Urgent Care Center for evaluation. We are located in Clearwater, Florida, and we’re always accepting new patients. No appointments are necessary.
What Causes Animal Bites to Become Infected?
Animals carry many different types of viruses and bacteria in their mouth, making bite wounds easily susceptible to infection. The bacteria is found within the saliva of the animal that bit you. When an animal bites you, bacteria is transferred through the saliva. If the skin has been punctured, then that virus or bacteria can enter the bloodstream, resulting in an infection.
Immediately after an animal bite, be sure to thoroughly clean the wound with soap and warm water. Then, apply an antibacterial or antiseptic solution. Doing this can help prevent infection from setting in the wound.
Diseases Spread to Humans from Animals Wounds
Disease can be spread from an animal to a human by a bite or a scratch. Two diseases to watch out for if you have an animal wound are rabies and cat scratch fever. Rabies can be spread by dogs, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Dog bites are one of the most common animal wounds. Regularly vaccinating your dog can help prevent the spread of rabies. However, you should still be cautious as this disease poses a serious health threat and can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms can start with fever, headache, and muscle weakness. As the disease progresses, one can also experience severe delusions, confusion, anxiety and even complete paralysis Cat scratch fever is a disease spread from feline to human. When the cat bites or scratches deep enough to break the skin, the wound can become infected. Cat scratch fever can also transfer by letting a cat lick an open wound. Within two weeks or so, the area can become swollen and produce fluid buildup or pus. Further symptoms include fever, headache, poor appetite and exhaustion. It is imperative to seek medical help if you have been bitten by an unvaccinated or vaccinated animal.