Dog/Animal Bites

Also known as: cat and dog bites, animal bites, animal attacks

What are dog/cat/animal bites?

A wound inflicted by an animal, whether a pet or wild, can range from mild to severe, deep or superficial. Pet bites are common, usually minor- however if they become infected a serious illness may result. Wild animals generally avoid people unless they/their young feel threatened or their territory is invaded.


What causes dog/cat animal bites?

Children are at risk whenever they are in close proximity to an animal. As all animals have the potential to bite, parents need to watch your children around any animal especially those that they know. Never let them disturb a feeding animal or feed an unknown animal; ensure children do not invade an animal’s space and that their infants’ face, head or neck is kept a distance from the mouth of any animal. Dogs, cats, other domesticated animals and all kinds of wild animals can bite. Do not let your child touch a snake, or monkey.  


What are the symptoms of dog/animal bites?

Pain and bleeding are the primary symptoms of animal bites. In some cases the bite can be deep and/or severe and require emergency care. Infection or the spread of disease such as rabies are other possible complications of animal bites.


What are dog/animal bite care options?

Dog bite treatment depends on the location of the bite, it's severity, the health of the child, and whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies or not. Principles of care include, cleaning the wound (with or without stitches), antibiotics for bites with a high-risk for infection and the administration of tetanus vaccine (if the child has not been adequately vaccinated). Rabies treatment may be required depending on the dog's rabies vaccination status. Treatment of cat bites is similar. For other bites consult a Poison control center, Animal Control or Nicklaus Children's Hospital Emergency Department.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 7/7/2017 8:54:50 AM

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  • Minor dog/animal bites
  • Earaches and ear infections
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Urgent Care Centers

Doral Urgent Care Center
3601 NW 107th Avenue
Doral, FL 33178
Wait Time: 14 Minutes

Palm Beach Gardens Urgent Care Center
11310 Legacy Avenue
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Wait Time: 13 Minutes

Miramar Urgent Care Center
12246 Miramar Parkway
Miramar, FL 33025
Wait Time: 14 Minutes

Miami Lakes Urgent Care Center
15025 NW 77 Avenue
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
Wait Time: 19 Minutes

Nirvair Chowdhury Midtown Urgent Care Center
3915 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33137
Wait Time: 33 Minutes

West Kendall Urgent Care Center
13400 SW 120th Street
Miami, FL 33186
Wait Time: 18 Minutes

Palmetto Bay Urgent Care Center
17615 SW 97 Avenue
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
Wait Time: 26 Minutes

West Bird Urgent Care Center
11449 SW 40 Street
Miami, FL 33165
Wait Time: 16 Minutes

Main Campus Urgent Care Center
3100 SW 62 Avenue
Miami, FL 33155
Wait Time: Closed

Golisano | Nicklaus Children's Health Center
3361 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34109
Wait Time: Closed

Hialeah Urgent Care Center
990 W 49th Street
Hialeah, FL 33012
Wait Time: 14 Minutes

Pinecrest Urgent Care Center
11521 South Dixie Highway
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Wait Time: 19 Minutes

Homestead Urgent Care Center
2072 NE 8th Street
Homestead, FL 33033
Wait Time: 27 Minutes