Cat Bites Can Be as Dangerous as Dog Bites

Although dog bites are more likely to result in serious injuries, cat bites can also result in major harm.

According to the New York Times, cat bites account for only 10 to 15 percent of animal bites treated in emergency rooms, but they pose special risks of infection.

Up to 50 percent of cat bites become infected, according to the head of the infectious-diseases division at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Dog bites are the most common type of animal bite treated in hospitals. When dogs bite, they can tear flesh and break bones, but they leave open wounds that are easy to clean. These open wounds are less likely to become infected than the puncture wounds created by cats bites.

A cat bite can inject bacteria directly into the tendons and bones of the hand. Once germs are in these fluid-filled spaced, they can grow rapidly, leading to infections.

A study based on patients who came to the Mayo Clinic Hospital with cat bites reviewed the records of 193 people.

Thirty-six of the cat-bite victims were immediately admitted to the hospital and stayed an average of three days.  Another 154 of the victims were given antibiotics and released, but 21 of them needed to be hospitalized later.

Complications of the cat bites included nerve damage, abscesses, and loss of mobility in the patients’ joints.

The most common form of infection due to cat bites was from the Pasteurella multocida bacterium, which is found in the mouths of up to 90 percent of healthy cats.

Pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, and drainage from the wound are all signs of a serious infection that should be treated immediately, said the author of the study.

If you or a family member has suffered a dog or cat bite injury, contact us for experienced Bergen County personal injury attorney in New Jersey. The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. offer free initial consultations and are here to help with your case. Our attorneys are available via (201) 928-0300 or through our online contact form.