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Animal bites

Animal bites

Overview

Animal bites are injuries that result when flesh is torn between the teeth of an animal. First aid for a bite includes washing minor wounds, applying pressure and dressing with a clean cloth until bleeding subsides. If the animal is wild or domestic but not vaccinated there may be a concern about rabies. When possible the animal must be quarantined or autopsied to determine if it is rabid. A physician will make the decision about rabies prophylaxis.

Update Date 1/8/2012

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.