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Animal Bite

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What do I need to know about an animal bite?

Animal bite injuries range from shallow cuts to deep, life-threatening wounds. An animal can cut or puncture the skin when it bites. Your skin may be torn away. Your skin may swell or bruise even if the bite does not break the skin. Animal bites occur more often on the hands, arms, legs, and face. Bites from dogs and cats are the most common injuries.

What does my healthcare provider need to know about my animal bite?

Which tests may I need after an animal bite?

Your healthcare provider will look at how big and deep the bite wounds are. Tell your provider if any area feels numb. Your provider will check how well you can move the bitten area and check for signs of infection. You may also need the following:

How is an animal bite treated?

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

What can I do to prevent an animal bite?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.