Animal Bites Overview
Many different types of animals ranging from dogs, cats, hamsters, raccoons, ferrets, and squirrels can bite adults and children. Many times, bites are from the family pet. The latest data from the American Association of Poison Control Center's Annual Report of 2010 reported 94,823 animal exposure reports to the poison control center. Ninety percent were attributed to dogs. Animal exposures following in decreasing order by are cat, horse, rodent, cow, sheep/goat, and aquatic. The true numbers are difficult to know as not all cases are reported.
Most states require that animal bites be reported, therefore, the person bitten will be asked to fill out a form with information about the bite or asked specific questions for reporting purposes when medical care is sought. Aside from simple data collection, this can be important in cases of rabies cases to help officials track location(s) and monitor a possible spread of the disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2012
Scott D Fell, DO, FAAEM
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Animal Bites - Type and Treatment
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