Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Animal Bite of the Arm Overview

Are animal bites of the arm serious?
The severity of an animal bite often depends on the type of animal and depth of the bite. In the case of an animal bite to the arm, it is important to make sure the bite has not penetrated into a joint. Other structures that can be injured include arteries and nerves. Animal bites are common and frequently cause skin infections.

What are the symptoms of an animal bite of the arm?
Symptoms of an animal bite include skin puncture wound, pain around the bite, and bleeding from the bite. Penetration into a joint may cause pain with movement of the joint. Numbness and tingling should be investigated as a potential nerve injury.

How does the doctor treat an animal bite of the arm?
Treatment for animal bites depends on the depth of penetration. General treatment includes wound irrigation and cleansing, tetanus vaccination, and antibiotics.

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