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Are Cat Bites Serious Even Though They’re Minor?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2018 | Dog Bites, Personal Injury

When you see your child reach out to a friend’s cat and get bit, your initial response is simply to get your child away and to make sure the wound stops bleeding. Initially, it may not seem significant, especially if there is only a single puncture or the wound seems like it isn’t bleeding a lot.

The reality about cat bites is that they’re extremely dangerous because of the propensity for infection. Puncture wounds harbor infection because bacteria in the saliva is pushed deep into the wound, and there are few places where they can escape the body. As the skin heals, the wound may still be infected or beginning to become infected inside, essentially trapping the infection inside the body.

Cat bites can lead to serious infections, and in fact, they’re typically more harmful than dog bites of the same type. Why are cats so much more dangerous?

They have sharper teeth They push bacteria further into a narrow wound Most bites occur to the hands, where it’s common for joints or tendons to be involved. If bacteria enter the sheaths of the joints or tendons, you’ll need surgery right away. Antibiotics have trouble reaching infections in those areas, so surgery is needed to wash out the bacteria and remove it. A loss of joint mobility is possible if patients delay surgery for too long. A bad enough infection can literally destroy tendons.

Around 2 percent of all emergency room visits are a result of animal bites. Bites by cats are rare, but if you have one, it’s necessary to get assistance right away.