Across the United States, households have all sorts of pets. While the topic of pet bite injuries often leads to dog bites, the fact is that pet bites can include a wide variety of animals. In turn, these bites can lead to an assortment of injuries and possible side effects.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), animal bites are a public health concern. There are numerous species of animals that contribute to injuries in children and adults worldwide. These include:
There are no reliable global estimates on how many dog bites occur each year. In The U.S., however, around 4.5 million people suffer from dog bite injuries each year. Around 885,000 of those injured require medical treatment, and 30,000 require reconstructive surgery. An estimated 3-28 percent of dog bite victims develop infection.
Dog bites account for as much as 76-94 percent of all animal bite injuries.
Cats are responsible for about 400,000 pet bite injuries each year in the U.S. Around 66,000 victims require medical treatment for their injuries. Worldwide, cat bites cause 2-50 percent of all animal bite injuries.
Worldwide, around five million people are bitten by snakes each year. Around 2.4 million of those result in poisonings from venom. Between 94,000 and 125,000 people die each year from snake bites – both in the wild, and “domesticated”.
Rats, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs are common pets, but they can be dangerous when they bite. Rodents are known to carry Streptobacillus moniliformis, which causes an illness known as “rat bite fever”. This illness is painful and can be life-threatening in some populations.
Some people try to domesticate wild animals, which may not be a good idea. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, and birds can all carry diseases and infections that can be transmitted to humans and other pets. Wild pets can carry tetanus, rabies, and other bacteria that can be dangerous to humans.