Animal Bites Treatment Specialist Q&A
If you get bitten by an animal, it can be a scary and painful experience, but it’s important to seek help right away. Animal bites may not be deadly, but if left untreated, they can lead to serious medical issues due to infection. Dr. Andrew J. Blankenau, MD of Minor Emergency of Denton, is available to treat animal bites effectively. Don’t hesitate to get the assistance you need. We are conveniently located at 4400 Teasley Ln #200 Denton, TX 76210. Contact us today for more information or simply walk in.
Table of Contents:
Besides being a frightening experience, an animal bite can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it can also be quite painful. Most commonly, animal bites come from family pets, but with a number of critters out there, bites can also come from rodents around the neighborhood, like raccoons, bats, squirrels or rats. Animal bites from a pet are more likely to occur when the animal is provoked or teased, if food is removed while the animal is eating, or when the animal perceives a threat to itself to its offspring or to its owner. Sometimes animal attacks are unprovoked, and occasionally, a raccoon or squirrel may attack for no obvious reason, and in many cases the animal is seriously ill and possibly infected with rabies.
Though immediate medical attention may not always be possible, an animal bite that breaks the skin should be checked by a doctor as soon as possible as infection can result from the animal’s saliva or from debris in the wound. Some symptoms that might indicate an infection include:
• Redness, swelling, or itching around the wound site
• Sensation loss around bite area
• Swelling of lymph nodes
• Night sweating
• Difficulty breathing
• Warm to the touch
• Streaks of red, spreading away from the wound
• Leaking of pus from the wound
• Muscle weakness and fatigue
It is advisable to seek medical attention if you, or someone you are with has been bitten, and showing any of the above symptoms.
All animals are capable of biting, whether they are family pets like cats and dogs, or from rodents in the neighborhood. Wild animals are also capable of making their way into populated areas, and can pose a serious risk to people and pets while hiking or camping. Bites from bats are uncommon, but do occur. If a bat is found in a room where you or a family member has been sleeping, seeking medical attention is advised, even if bite marks are not visible.
Animal bites can cause bacterial infections from the animal’s mouth or saliva, or from the environment. Animal bites are often referred to as poly-microbial, meaning several species of bacteria are likely involved in the infection. A serious condition called Tetanus can develop from a bacterial infection from an animal bite.
If you require a visit to your doctor for a bite, they will ask you questions about the details of the experience, like:
• What kind of animal it was that bit you?
• What prompted the animal to bite you?
• If your own pet, has it had a rabies vaccination?
• When did you last receive a tetanus shot?
The bite area will be properly cleaned, and the wound assessed. This will help prevent infection. If an infection does develop, medications can be prescribed, and Minor Emergency of Denton has onsite x-ray and lab capabilities to determine if an infection has spread.
To help reduce your chances of being bitten, or scratched by an animal:
• Always ask owners if it’s okay to pet or approach their dog
• Keep clear of stray, wild or unknown animals, birds or bats
• Never leave a young child unattended with an animal
• Avoid running around dogs, as they enjoy chasing
• Dogs are very protective and territorial, never reach through a fence or physically touch a dog owner, unless the dog is very familiar with you.
If you require urgent medical care, our team or highly trained professionals at Minor Emergency of Denton is available 7 days a week. Contact our office or visit our clinic. We are conveniently located at 4400 Teasley Ln #200 Denton, TX 76210. We serve patients from Denton TX, Corinth TX, Highland Village TX, Little Elm TX, Flower Mound TX, Lewisville TX, and Southlake TX.