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Injury to the human skin and/or subcutaneous tissues caused by bite, causing local, and in some cases systemic, effects
- Animal bites
- Approximate frequency
- Dogs: 90–95%
- Cats: 3–8%
- Rodents or rabbits: 1%
- Raccoons and other animals: 1%
- 90% of the offending animals are well-known to the victim.
- Children are the most common victims:
- Boys are twice as likely as girls to be bitten by dogs.
- Girls are more likely to be bitten by cats.
- Human bites
- Most common in children ages 2–5 years
- In older children, bites may occur accidentally during sports activities or intentionally during altercations or abusive situations.
- An estimated 4.5 million dog bites and 400,000 cat bites occur annually in the United States.
- The incidence of human bites is unknown due to underreporting.
- Ensure that children receive routine immunizations against tetanus and hepatitis and that family pets are immunized against rabies.
- Encourage children to avoid contact with wild animals and dead animals.
- Injury associated with bite types:
- Crush and tear injuries
- May involve bone
- Puncture-type wounds
- Penetrate deeper and carry a higher risk of infection
- Generally only violate skin
- However, penetration into joint and tendon sheath spaces may occur (especially bites overlying the metacarpal-phalangeal areas).
- Rate of infection
- Dog bites: 3–18%
- Cat bites: 28–80%
- Human bites: 15–20%
- More recent studies have suggested an incidence of infection after dog and cat bites to be closer to 2–3%.
- Infections are most commonly polymicrobial with both aerobic and anaerobic organisms.
- Infected dog and cat bites
- Pasteurella species are the most frequent isolates.
- Dog: Pasteurella canis
- Cat: Pasteurella multocida and Pasteurella septica
- Common anaerobes include Fusobacterium, bacterioids, Porphyromonas, and Prevotella.
- Infected human bites
- Streptococcus anginosus
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Eikenella corrodens
- Fusobacterium species
- Prevotella species
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