Bite is worse than His Bark

Animal bites are very common, especially on the hands and feet. Dog and cat bites make up the majority of animal bites because they are the most common household pets. What should you know about dog or cat bites? First of all, cat bites are more likely to become infected because they are mostly deep puncture wounds. Dog bites are more of a crushing type of injury. Also, the closer the bite is to a joint, the greater risk of infection.

Onset of a superficial infectious process can begin within 12 hours of injury so immediate treatment is recommended. Potential for a local abscess is high if not properly treated and within a proper time frame.


  • A careful history from the physician should be obtained. Most bites are from animals that are known to the injured person. This is important when worrying about potential rabies contracture.
  • Tetanus prophylaxis should be rendered per the recommended guidelines
  • Debridement and drainage of any purulence should be attempted. Cultures of the wound should be taken to ensure proper antibiotic coverage.
  • The wound should be irrigated with copious amounts of saline or saline with iodine
  • Closure of the wound is determined based on clinical infection or not.
  • Antibiotics should be given.

If you have suffered a bite, whether it be from a dog, cat, hamster, or spouse, please contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit our website for more information.

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Animal Bites, Infection, Open Wounds