Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 20

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Section I
emergency departments for non-fatal dog bite-related injuries, and
injury rates are highest among children aged five to nine years. Of the
estimated 386,000 people treated for dog bites, 50 percent were children. Approximately 16 people receive fatal injuries each year from
dog bites. In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive
surgery as a result of being bitten by a dog. Children 9 to 14 years old
are the group with the next most bites.2
The liability for a dog biting someone may vary by local community,
county, and state statute. Several states have a "one bite" rule for dogs. Under
this rule, a dog's owner is liable for injuries the dog causes if the owner knew
or had reason to know that the dog was likely to cause that kind of injury.
Liability might also result from negligent handling, or violation of leash or
other control laws. Dog owners need to be aware of statutes.
Although injuries from animal attacks can become infected and fatalities
do occur, the injury is more frequently psychological rather than surgical.
Bite wounds can consist of lacerations, evulsions (a tear or a pulled-out
wound), punctures, and scratches.
The potential for infection varies; although fewer than 5 percent of dog
bites become infected, up to 50 percent of cat bites do. This increased rate is
attributed to the difficulty in effectively irrigating the puncture wounds that
typically occur from cat bites.
Generally, animal bites have not been shown to be a high risk for tetanus
contaminations; very few cases are reported each year in the United States.
However, this may be due in part to the high level of tetanus immunity in
the general population.
The most important consideration in the treatment of the patient bitten
or scratched is whether rabies treatment should be initiated. If rabies is a
consideration and the animal cannot be identified with certainty, immunization is recommended.

rabies
Except in certain localities near the Mexican border and along the Atlantic
Coast where rabies is especially prevalent, domestic dogs and cats in the
United States have a low likelihood of rabies infection. Moreover, domestic
animals can generally be identified and quarantined for observation or testing.
Bats and feral carnivores-particularly fox, coyotes, skunks, bobcats,
ferrets, and raccoons-are frequently infected with rabies in the wild and are
the most common source of human rabies in the United States.
Successful vaccination programs that began in the 1940s caused a decline in rabies among domestic animals; however, as the number of cases of
rabies in domestic animals decreased, the number in wild animals increased.
In 1997, 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported
8,509 cases of rabies in animals and 4 cases in humans to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Total cases reported to the
CDC in 2010 declined to 6,153 cases and only two cases were reported
in humans. Wild animals accounted for 92 percent of the reported cases
and domesticated animals eight percent.3 See Table 2-1 and Figures 2-6
through 2-11.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
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