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Why do bites take place, and why are they so serious?

Whether you're bitten by a pet or stray that has escaped from its owner, bites aren't something to take lightly. Even healthy, vaccinated pets can cause serious harm when biting, including damage to your tissues, bacterial infections and other diseases. Owners are held liable for their pets attacking, so your attorney can speak to you about getting the compensation you need from the person who owns the animal that attacked you. In the meantime, here are some common questions about animal bites.

Why do bites take place?

Bites can be a result of intimate contact, like if you approach a strange animal and act too familiar with it. If you're walking, jogging, or participating in outdoor activities, an animal can approach at any time, potentially causing a bite injury.

What kinds of bites can be serious in nature?

There are many kinds of animals that can attack you; dogs, of course, are seen as one of the worst because of the possibility of transmitting rabies and other diseases. Their fangs and strong jaws can also cause severe injuries to the muscles, tissues, ligaments and joints.

Other bites you could be exposed to include bites from domesticated pets like rats, cats, horses or other animals. These injuries can also be serious, and you should seek out medical care following them.

Why are relatively minor bites still dangerous?

Think about cat bites, for example, and you'll have a better understanding of why a minor bite can actually be seriously dangerous. With a puncture wound, you may not bleed much, and you may not feel much pain. However, it's possible that dangerous bacteria has been forced into the wound, and without bleeding, it's likely that the bacteria will stay where it was left. This can result in an infection that affects you several days or weeks later.

Source: Core Physicians, "Animal and Human Bites," accessed Feb. 10, 2016

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