First aid: Animal bites
If an animal bites you or your child, follow these guidelines:
Doctors recommend getting a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your last one was more than five years ago and your wound is deep or dirty, your doctor may recommend a booster. You should have the booster as soon as possible after the injury.
Domestic pets cause most animal bites. Dogs are more likely to bite than cats are. Cat bites, however, are more likely to cause infection. Bites from nonimmunized domestic animals and wild animals carry the risk of rabies. Rabies is more common in raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes than in cats and dogs. Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely carry rabies.
Last Updated: 2009-11-20
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