Cat bite injuries are quite common particularly on the hands and fingers. Oftentimes, cat bite injuries can occur while playing with a pet cat and these can cause serious issues that entail immediate treatment. Even though these cat bite injuries often occur, it is vital for an individual to be assessed as soon as possible to ensure the right treatment.
It is important to note that animal bite injuries can occur frequently. In reality, millions of individuals all over the world have sustained an animal bite injury and most of these are from cats or dogs. Most cases of animal bite injuries are inflicted on the hands.
Cat bites can be quite troublesome and often misleading in terms of the extent of the issue. Remember that cat teeth are long, sharp and narrow. A small puncture to the skin can travel deep down inside the hands and fingers. The concern is that a small injury can actually penetrate down to the joints or tendons. In such circumstances, the infection can involve the deeper structures and entail aggressive treatment.
When a cat bite occurs on the hand, the sharp teeth can deliver bacteria from the cat’s mouth into the hand. It is similar to an unsterilized needle that punctures deep into the hand. The bacteria from the cat’s mouth or from the skin can penetrate into the hand and fingers.
What you can do
It is vital to consult a doctor right after sustaining a cat bite. The symptoms of a cat bite infection can develop rapidly and the treatment is successful if started early. The symptoms often manifest within a few hours of the bite. The common symptoms of a cat bite include the following:
- Redness and swelling at the bite site
- Worsening pain
The individual should be evaluated in order to determine if the puncture is likely to have entered a tendon or a joint. Since the body has a hard time fighting off infections in the joints or around tendons, the treatment should be aggressive.
The usual form of treatment for a cat bite on the hand involves antibiotics. Even if there is no evident indication of an active infection, the injuries have a high risk of developing infection. The standard antibiotics are broad spectrum since various types of bacteria can be considered as culprits of the cat bite infection.
In cases in which the infection affects the tendons or joints, surgery is required to clean the bacteria from the joint. Immediate treatment can avoid this level of treatment but even with antibiotics, some infections would require invasive care.
Understandably, prompt and correct treatment of a cat bite is vital. Many individuals who sustain this type of injury do not bother with the treatment because it appears minimal. This is a big mistake since these injuries can be serious. Early administration of antibiotic treatment can reduce the risk of a serious issue from developing.