Bites, Animal and Human
- Animal bite rates vary by species: dogs (60–90%), cats (5–20%), rodents (2–3%), humans (2–3%), and (rarely) other animals, including snakes.
- System(s) affected: potentially any
Young children are more likely to sustain bites and have bites that include the face, upper extremity, or trunk.
- All ages, but children > adults
- Dog bites: male > female patients; cat bites: female > male patients
- 3 to 6 million animal bites per year in the United States (1)
- Account for 1% of all injury-related ED visits
- 1–2% will require hospital admission, and 20 to 35 victims die from dog bite complications, annually.
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Dog bites are far more common than cat bites; most dog bites are from a domestic pet known to the victim.
- Most (~90%) cat bites are provoked.
- Human bite wounds are typically incurred by striking another in the mouth with a clenched fist.
- Human bites also occur incidentally (e.g., paronychia due to nail biting; thumb sucking; or nonmalicious bites to the face, breasts, or genital areas).
- Animal bites can cause tears, punctures, scratches, avulsions, or crush injuries.
- Contamination by oral flora leads to infection.
- Cat bites are more often puncture-type wound.
- Older and/or male dogs are more likely to bite.
- Clenched-fist human bites are frequently associated with the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Patients presenting >8 hours following the bite are at greater risk of infection.
- Instruct children and adults about animal hazards.
- Enforce animal control laws.
- Educate pet owners.
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Domino, Frank J., et al., editors. "Bites, Animal and Human." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2020. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/1688505/all/Bites__Animal_and_Human.
Bites, Animal and Human. In: Domino FJF, Baldor RAR, Golding JJ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2020. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/1688505/all/Bites__Animal_and_Human. Accessed May 29, 2023.
Bites, Animal and Human. (2020). In Domino, F. J., Baldor, R. A., Golding, J., & Stephens, M. B. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult (27th ed.). Wolters Kluwer. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/1688505/all/Bites__Animal_and_Human
Bites, Animal and Human [Internet]. In: Domino FJF, Baldor RAR, Golding JJ, Stephens MBM, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2020. [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/1688505/all/Bites__Animal_and_Human.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Bites, Animal and Human ID - 1688505 ED - Domino,Frank J, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Stephens,Mark B, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/1688505/all/Bites__Animal_and_Human PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -