Animal Bite Treatment

Your child is accidentally nipped by the family dog during a friendly game of tug of war.  A neighbor’s cat bites or scratches you or your child when the cat becomes startled.  Or, you’re at the beach and fail to do the “stingray shuffle” while walking in the sandy surf and suffer a stingray bite on your foot.

Worse yet, you are bitten by a wild animal while trying to rid it from your property.

Many animals can transmit rabies with a bite.

When To See a Medical Provider

  • A bite that breaks the skin and causes a large or deep wound
  • The wound has redness, swelling or pus
  • Bleeding that does not stop after several minutes
  • Stingray bites that cause breathing difficulties, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, excessive bleeding or the sting site shows discoloration

Animal Bite Treatments

Your primary care doctor or urgent care provider will clean the wound. Stitches and a dressing could be used.

A tetanus shot may be given if the last shot was more than five years ago.

If it’s determined that the risk for rabies is high, a rabies vaccine may be given. Sometimes, a series of rabies vaccines may be necessary.

An antibiotic might be prescribed to prevent infection.