Domestic pets are responsible for the majority of animal bite injuries. Cat and dogs are the most common culprits. Animal bite injuries can vary in severity. While dog bites occur more often, cat bites pose more of a risk for infection. Most people assume that dog bites are more hazardous than cat bites because dogs are generally larger than cats however; studies have found that cat bites are the more dangerous of the two.
Dogs have slightly blunted teeth, whereas cats have small, sharp teeth. Dog bites are generally larger and, as such, easier to clean. Cat bites are more susceptible to infection due to the fact that they cause tiny puncture wounds. Cat bites can insert bacteria deep under the skin and are difficult to clean properly. These puncture wounds often heal over quickly due to the small size. This can trap bacteria inside the body if the injury has not been adequately cleaned.
An individual who has been bitten by an animal should clean the injury immediately. If the wound does not appear serious, home treatment may be all that is required. For more extensive injuries it may be necessary to seek medical attention. Individuals who are unsure about the severity of an injury are advised to get the advice of a medical professional.
It is essential to be on the lookout for any signs that an injury has become infected. There are several symptoms that indicate infection. One of the earliest signs that a bite has become infected is redness, swelling and tenderness of the surrounding area. Some initial sensitivity is to be expected, but persistent or worsening pain or inflammation should not be ignored. A wound that has become infected may often discharge pus or other fluids. Individuals may experience a loss of sensation or limited mobility near the site of the injury. The presence of red streaks near the bite may indicate that the lymph system has become infected. This is especially serious if red streaks are accompanied by fever or fatigue. An individual who observes one or more of these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
A person's health and safety should always be the first priority. Once treatment has been administered, however, it is recommended that proper representation be obtained, if applicable. Medical bills can add up quickly, and without proper representation the cost of treatment may fall to the injured party. Carter Mario is a Connecticut-based law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. Qualified representation can help individuals to secure proper compensation after an animal bite injury.