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Animal Bites

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.

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 3/26/2015
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Animal Bites:

Animal Bites - Type and Treatment

What kind of animal bit you, and what was the treatment?

Animal Bite Risks

Who is most at risk?

  • Children: Among children, the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years, and children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites than adults. Recent research shows that the rate of dog-bite related injuries among children seems to be decreasing.
  • Adult Males: Among adults, males are more likely than females to be bitten.
  • People with dogs in their homes: Among children and adults, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher incidence of dog bites. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the incidence of dog bites. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.

SOURCE: Dog Bite Prevention.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Animal Bites »

Because many animal bites are never reported, determining the exact incidence of animal bite wounds in the United States, let alone the world, is difficult.

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