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Infections From Animal Bites

Infections From Animal Bites

Dogs and cats as well as other domestic animals can make wonderful pets. Pets can provide companionship as well as teach lessons like responsibility to children. However, both domestic and wild animals can bite you and those you love, delivering harmful viruses and bacteria that can have potentially devastating effects on your life.

One common school science fair project is to show that there is more bacteria present in human mouths versus dog mouths. On the other hand, just because canines carry less bacteria than humans, it does not mean that this bacteria is safe. In fact, because we are not used to these types of germs, they can cause serious infections.

One body part frequently bitten by out-of-control animals is the hands. If there is a transfer of bacteria or parasite to this area of your body, infections can be very difficult to fight. This is because the hands have comparatively little blood that travels throughout the area. Blood carries infection fighters like antibodies, and without a high amount of those available, the invader can take hold in your hand and develop an infection. Additionally, as cat’s teeth tend to cause more puncture-like wounds, they can force harmful bacteria deeper into your tissue.

Of course, a deadly infection sometimes carried by animals is rabies. Both domestic and wild animals can carry the rabies virus. However, pet owners are responsible for inoculating their animals against this disease to protect the people around them. If a pet owner fails to do so, his or her pet can pose a danger to you and your loved ones.

Animals carry rabies in their saliva, so a bite that pierces the skin can allow the virus to invade the body. If you have not had a rabies vaccine, the virus can take hold in your body, causing symptoms like paralysis, seizures, double vision, and difficulty breathing. Sadly, once rabies gets to this stage, it is very difficult for doctors to treat it. Thus, if you have been bitten by an animal that may have rabies, you should talk to your physician about getting the proper treatment as soon as possible.

While you cannot predict the actions of wild animals, domesticated pets should always be secured confined so that they do not attack you. Pet owners should build strong, impenetrable fences and keep their pets on leashes so that they do not pose a danger to you. If you have been attacked by an animal, you should fight back against the negligent pet owner.