I. See Also

II. Indications

III. Epidemiology

  1. Dog Bites account for 80-90% of Animal Bites in U.S.
  2. Cat Bites account for 5-10% of Animal Bites in U.S.

IV. Risk Factors: Bite site infection

  1. Venous Insufficiency or Lymphedema involving the affected limb
  2. Hand bite
  3. Bite site near a prosthetic joint
  4. Crush injury or Puncture Wound
  5. Delayed presentation
    1. Arm or leg bite site >6-12 hours
    2. Facial bite site >12-24 hours
  6. Diabetes Mellitus or other immunosuppressed state

V. Management: General

  1. Inject 1% Lidocaine through intact skin
  2. Copious wound irrigation with Normal Saline
    1. Set up 500 ml saline bag with 20 gauge angiocatheter (or 20 ml or larger syringe)
    2. Place bag into BP cuff and pump up to 300 mmHg
    3. Irrigate wound with 500 cc of Normal Saline
      1. Consider irrigation with dilute povidone-Iodine solution if the animal is suspected to be rabid
  3. Wound closure
    1. Indications for closure by Secondary Intention
      1. Puncture Wounds
      2. Infected wounds
      3. Wounds older than 24 hours
    2. Indications for Sutured closure
      1. Wound less than 8 hours old
      2. Wounds located on face
  4. Wounds near joint or bone
    1. Obtain baseline XRay of puncture
    2. Obtain Orthopedic Consultation
  5. Wound exploration
    1. Explore wound for tendon, joint or bone injury
    2. Explore wound for foreign bodies (e.g. teeth fragments, which may break off in older animals)
      1. XRay wound if suspected Radiopaque Foreign Body
  6. Immunization
    1. Tetanus Vaccine
    2. Rabies Prophylaxis
      1. See Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis for full list of indications
      2. Indicated if dog with Unknown vaccination status
        1. Animal cannot be quarantined for 10 days (do not euthanize animal prior to completion of 10 day observation)
        2. Unprovoked attack
      3. Immediate wound management (see Rabies Prophylaxis)
      4. Start Vaccine within 48 hours
  7. Antibiotic
    1. See Dog Bite Infection

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Ontology: Animal bite (C0003044)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Wild animals usually avoid people. They might attack, however, if they feel threatened, are sick, or are protecting their young or territory. Attacks by pets are more common. Animal bites rarely are life-threatening, but if they become infected, you can develop serious medical problems.

To prevent animal bites and complications from bites

  • Never pet, handle, or feed unknown animals
  • Leave snakes alone
  • Watch your children closely around animals
  • Vaccinate your cats, ferrets, and dogs against rabies
  • Spay or neuter your dog to make it less aggressive
  • Get a tetanus booster if you have not had one recently
  • Wear boots and long pants when you are in areas with venomous snakes

If an animal bites you, clean the wound with soap and water as soon as possible. Get medical attention if necessary.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
ICD9 E906.5
SnomedCT 157939001, 217696009, 287171004, 31986002, 418975000
LNC LA17118-3
Spanish mordedura de un animal, mordedura de un animal (evento), Mordedura de animal NEOM, mordeduras de animales, SAI (hallazgo), mordeduras de animales, SAI (evento), Animal bites NOS, mordeduras de animales, SAI (trastorno), mordeduras de animales, SAI, mordedura de animal (anomalía morfológica), mordedura de animal, Mordedura de animal
Italian Morso di animale, Morso di animale NAS
Dutch dierlijke beet NAO, beet; dier, dier; beet, dierenbeet
French Morsure d'animal SAI, Morsure d'animal
German Tierbiss NNB, Tierbiss
Portuguese Mordedura de animal NE, Mordedura de animal
Japanese 動物咬傷NOS, 動物咬傷, ドウブツコウショウNOS, ドウブツコウショウ
English Animal bites NOS, Animal bite NOS, Animal bite, Bite;animal, animals bites, animal bites, Animal Bites, Animal bites NOS (disorder), Animal bites, Animal bites NOS (event), Animal bite (morphologic abnormality), bite; animal, animal; bite, Bite by unspecified animal, animal bite, Animal bites NOS (finding), Bite of animal (event), Bite of animal
Czech Kousnutí zvířetem, Kousnutí zvířetem NOS
Hungarian Állatharapás, Állatharapás k.m.n.