Most people are afraid of being attacked in the street by a fighting dog. But if the beloved cat bites or even a fellow human being at home, the consequences are often even worse, since cat bites or more often have severe consequences than a dog bite: 10 to 20 percent of all dog bites, but up to 45 percent of all cat bites lead to serious infections,
Cat bites are highly infectious
With human bites, the rate is even higher. Cats are less powerful than dogs, but have the sharper biter. The fine and extremely sharp teeth penetrate effortlessly into joints, tendons and bones, and their saliva is highly infectious there.
There is a risk of bites on the hand, which are superficially inconspicuous. Sometimes only small punctures are visible, but in the depths of bones or tendons, exotic pathogens spread. In the cat, this is often Pasteurella multocida, which leads first to bone inflammation and then to sepsis.
Even "love bites" are not without
80% of human bites are caused by quarrels, 20% are "love bites". Children's bites are usually harmless. But when an adult's fist meets another's teeth, irreparable damage often occurs, especially if the origin of the injury is lied to. Because human saliva very often contains unusual pathogens. The most dangerous is Eikenella corrodens. It is found in up to 30 percent of all infected human bites. Such injuries are then a case for infection specialists, because penicillin and other commonly used antibiotics do not work here.
Provide bite wounds as early as possible
Dangerous are all bite wounds that are still inflamed after 24 hours. But it should not come that far. As a first measure, the surface of the bite marks is cleaned with an iodine solution. Deep wounds, the doctor must rinse with a saline solution and surgically remove dead tissue. The doctor then decides whether the wound is sewn or "open".
In addition to the type of wound, the patient's immune system also plays a role. In people who have had their spleens removed, or who for some other reason have immunodeficiency, the wound is often treated "openly". Patients who are at particular risk may sometimes be advised to take precautionary antibiotics. In general, however, this is superfluous in non-inflamed wounds.