Wounds produced by animal bites can cause a severe infection due to the bacteria present in the animal’s mouth. Reacting quickly and effectively prevents the injury from getting complicated.
The wounds caused by animal bites are fairly common, including also scratches or bites. Although the vast majority of the time, they are caused by dogs, other animals such as cats, bats, and rodents can also cause bite injuries.
The big problem with these types of injuries is not the wound they cause but the serious infection they can unleash. The mouth of animals is full of bacteria that are harmless in the oral environment. Still, when transmitted by saliva to an open wound, the result is an infection that, if not treated quickly, could spread and lead to complications.
Among these animals, cats seem to have the most bacteria in their saliva, but they do not cause as much tissue damage as dog bites because of their type of teeth. Human bites must also be taken into account, as the human mouth also contains a wide variety of bacteria and can be even more harmful than an animal. An important role among these harmful agents is rabies, a virus present in the saliva of some infected mammals that can cause serious harm and even death to the victim if not treated promptly.
For this reason, a quick and effective first reaction is vital when it comes to preventing an injury from becoming more serious. Next, we will teach you how to identify the different types of bites caused by an animal, their most characteristic symptoms, and how to act at first if you witness this situation to help the injured person.
Types of animal bite
The wound or injury that occurs due to the bite will depend fundamentally on the animal that caused it. Still, it also depends on how the bite was, on the force with which the animal has bitten, and the part of the animal’s body—a victim who has been affected. The severity also depends on whether the animal bite victim is a child, an older adult, or an adult.
The mammalian bites are generally classified as follows:
Slight or superficial wounds:
these do not penetrate the inner layers of the skin, but only the outer layer is broken, and they remain on the surface. There is no danger of contagion of viruses, and the lesion will appear red and not very painful on contact. This type of injury is very common in people who have pets, as it is not an intentional attack by the animal.
when the bite causes a break in the skin and acquires a certain depth, like a prick from a fang. There is bleeding and also a risk of infections.
bites that remove part of the skin and expose deep tissue, showing muscles and bones. They are very conspicuous and bloody, with a high risk of infection and difficulty in healing.
The snake bites or vipers have other characteristics:
two bleeding holes are observed, sometimes only one. The distance between the holes gives an idea of how deep the poison has reached a poisonous species. Keep in mind that snakes in the wild usually flee from man; only if they are disturbed or feel threatened will they attack.
As mentioned, the severity of the wound is also determined by the characteristics and age of the person affected:
the skin and tissues of children are softer than those of an adult; a bite that would not cause serious harm to an adult would cause serious and deep injuries to a child.
something similar happens to older people. Their skin is more fragile and breaks easily. Also, your immune system is usually lowered, as is its ability to heal, so there will be a greater risk of infections and many difficulties in the regeneration of broken tissues.
People with health conditions:
Some diseases complicate the healing of even a simple wound. Diabetes, for example, affects the vascular system, making it very difficult to create new tissue and wound protection.
Other diseases or treatments also cause fewer antibodies in the body to fight infection, making the victim more prone to infection.