Bites and Scratches

Also known as: animal bites and scratches, dog and cat bite and scratches.

What are bites and scratches?

A bite is a wound inflicted by a mouth, while a scratch is a wound from paws or claws. These terms are usually used medically to refer to wounds inflicted by a pet or animal.

What causes bites and scratches? 
A wild animal or even a household pet can be the instigator of bites and scratches.

What are the symptoms of bites and scratches? 
A mild bite or scratch will simply leave a mark or abrasion behind. However, bites and scratches can cause bleeding, infection or even deadly diseases such as cat scratch disease or rabies.

What are bite and scratch care options? 
Bites and scratches may require first aid treatment in the form of cleaning and disinfecting the wound and applying antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Medical care should be sought to ensure that the animal in question did not infect the bite or scratch recipient with a more serious disease.

Reviewed by: Jose R. Rosa-Olivares, M.D.

This page was last updated on: 3/20/2018 4:00:30 PM

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