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Animal bites pose high risk of infection

Being bit or attacked by a dog or other domestic animal can be a scary situation for some Arizona residents. While an animal bite might be little or does not result in a deep wound, bite victims should take a wound caused by an animal attack seriously. Even a small bite carries a risk of infection and a negligent dog owner could be held liable following a dog bite.

According to a recent survey, animal bites are a major cause of hand injuries across the United States. This survey stresses the importance of properly assessing animal bite injuries and using antibiotics and other treatment methods available that could help avoid infection or other serious problems.

The risk of infection is always present when an animal bites. Any time a dog, a domestic animal or even a wild animal penetrates the skin, the victim should take steps to avoid infection and other medical problems. There are over 600 bacterial species in the saliva of a typical animal such as a dog or a cat. And some of these bacterial species can be very harmful to humans.

While dogs have a stronger jaw and could exert a bite force of more than 300 pounds, cats have sharper teeth. Both domestic animals pose risks of breaking the skin when they bite; however, cat bites lead to double the number of infections when compared to dog bites.

When an animal bite occurs, it is important to inspect the area for puncture wounds. Puncture wounds should be washed with soap and water, and the bite victim should seek health care advice about treating the wound because additional medical attention is likely. If the wound is bleeding heavily, pressure should be applied with a clean and sterile dressing or pad and medical attention should be sought. If redness or pain increases near the treated bite wound, urgent medical attention is needed, especially if a fever is present.

According to recent data, annual health care costs for animal bites exceed $850 million. Victims of an animal bite could suffer more than physical pain but could also endure emotional and mental pain. This could result in very expensive medical bills, and could even cause the injured party to miss work and suffer lost wages. In these matters, the bite victim could hold the owner of the animal liable through a personal injury claim. This could help them recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

Source:, "Fast and effective action is best for animal bites," Tim Sandle, Jan. 23, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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Flagstaff, AZ 86001-4623

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