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Animal Bites

What are Animal Bites?

Sometimes, no matter what you do to try and avoid it, you may find yourself in a situation with an unfamiliar or wild animal, and that animal may respond to your presence by biting you. It is important to seek medical attention regardless of whether you are bitten by a wild animal or your neighbors’ dog, because you can never be too safe, and it is best to avoid any risk of infection or communicable disease.


What causes Animal Bites?

Animal bites are generally the result of you having an unfortunate interaction with some animal, wild or domesticated. It could even be your own pet, but it is important to seek medical attention regardless.


What are symptoms of Animal Bites?

An animal bite will be immediately apparent, and hopefully you will be able to see the animal that bit you, to better report the incident to your doctor. The wound may bleed copiously or very little, depending on the severity of the laceration, and the area will most likely hurt, although the immediate pain may turn into a dull throb after some time.


Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment of Animal Bites.

If a bite is minor, and doesn’t break or barely breaks the skin, the wound must be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water, and an antibiotic cream should be applied in order to avoid infection. The wound should then be wrapped with a clean bandage. It is important to clean the wound very thoroughly, as the hand is more prone to infection than other parts of the body, and because of the nature of the hands anatomy, it can be tricky to clean fully. If the wound is deeper, and the skin is clearly broken and needs to be repaired, the doctor will have your wound cleaned out, and take time to assess the damage caused by the wound. Usually, if the wound is small and no vital structures are exposed the wound is left open or limited sutures are applied to allow the wound to drain and heal from the bottom up to minimize infection.

Surgical treatment of Animal Bites.

If the wound is severe and if it includes damage to bones or tendons, which is often the case in bites to the hand, then surgery will most likely be required. Treatment of fractures may require pins if the breaks are severe enough, but oftentimes a cast will do the job of holding the bones in place as they set.


How can Dr. Knight help you with Animal Bites?

Being bitten by an animal can be a traumatic experience, and it is in your best interest as a patient to seek care from a doctor who is both compassionate and competent. As a hand surgeon, Dr. Knight possesses a breadth of knowledge of treatment for a variety of hand injuries, including animal bites. You will be in good hands with Dr. Knight.


Animal Bites to the Hand Animation Video




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HandAndWristInstitute.com does not offer medical advice. The information presented here is offered for informational purposes only. Read Disclaimer