The deep puncture wounds that occur when a dog or cat bites are the perfect environment for bacteria growth. This puts animal attack victims at risk of an infection developing at the injury site. It is imperative that anyone who has been bitten by any animal take the time to seek out medical care.
In these cases, prevention is almost always the best course of action. Unless the bite wound is very deep and bleeding uncontrollably, it is unlikely that the puncture will be sutured because closing the area up can encourage a bacteria bloom. Instead, the area is usually left open to drain freely.
When you visit a doctor after you are attacked by any animal, you will likely be put on antibiotics if there are any open wounds. This can help to prevent bacteria from growing uncontrollably. By controlling the growth, you might be able to stave off an infection.
Anyone who has been bitten by an animal should pay close attention to the wounds. If they become very painful, red or hot, there is a chance that the area is becoming infected. Draining pus out of the wounds is another sign to watch for, especially if the drainage smells foul.
Another consideration in these cases is whether the animal had a rabies vaccination. There is a chance that you can contract rabies from an unvaccinated animal. The medical professionals who care for you will likely ask you if the animal was current on the rabies shot. If you aren’t sure, let them know. Pet owners are required to have valid proof of a rabies shot, so you can always ask to see this if the animal who bit you was a pet.