Many people in New Jersey suffer from animal bites each year. While people most often hear about dog bite injuries, cat bites can also cause severe injuries due to the infections that can develop from them.
According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, bacterial infections from cat bites can be much more severe than those from dog bites. According to the study, one-third of those people who sought treatment for cat bites required hospitalization for their infections over the three-year study period. Two-thirds of those people who were hospitalized then needed surgery in order to completely flush out the bacteria from the wound.
The risk of hospitalization was greater when the bite occurred over a tendon or joint. Often, swelling, pain and inflammation also occurred. Those who had compromised immune systems were also more likely to need hospitalization for a bacterial infection from a cat bite. Since cats have long and sharp teeth, their bites tend to puncture deeply into the skin, depositing bacteria in harder-to-reach areas. Reportedly, 85 percent of cat bites happen on a person's wrists or hands. Since tendons and joints are in enclosed spaces, they provide ample areas in which bacteria can quickly grow.
When people are injured from an animal bite of any type, it is important for them to see their medical doctor. A doctor can help clean the area with antiseptics and prescribe antibiotics to fight any infection. People with more serious injuries may need to seek emergency medical treatment at a hospital. They may also want to consult with a personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit seeking damages from the owner. In many cases, a pet owner's home insurance policy will provide coverage to people for injuries from animal bites.