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Bitten by a pet? Watch for the signs of infection

When a domestic animal attacks, who is at fault? Most people who experience bites from the two most common types of pets, cats and dogs, never consider the long-term repercussions of this type of injury, but in reality, one bite can have detrimental consequences. Every animal bite, even the least severe, comes with the potential for infection. 

Signs of a possible infection may not show up for days or weeks after the initial attack. If you suffered a bite, you would be wise to watch closely for the signs of health complications and be ready to seek necessary medical and legal assistance if the situation requires it. 

Attacks from cats and dogs

According to statistics presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 10 to 15 percent of dog bites become infected, and as many as 50 percent of cat bites become infected. Many of these bites happen on the hands where a significant amount of bacteria lives.

Any time an animal's teeth puncture the skin, they can introduce bacteria into the body, ultimately resulting in an infection. Signs of this type of issue may not be present right away, but you may need medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Oozing at the wound
  • Tenderness and pain around the bite area
  • Loss of sensation
  • Fever or chills
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle weakness

Any of these signs could indicate that you may be dealing with a more serious health problem than you initially thought. At the first sign of infection, you may need the assistance of a medical professional in order to get the treatment you need and prevent the infection from worsening.

Who is to blame?

Most animal attacks are from pets familiar to the victim. You may think that you are at least partially to blame for what happened or that you do not have a case, but in reality, you could have a valid claim to financial compensation. In the state of Ohio, pet owners are strictly liable for damages caused by their pets. If you suffered because of an attack from a pet, you likely have a valid claim.

Many homeowner insurance policies cover the financial damages that occur because of a dog bite. No matter the circumstances of your bite, you have the right to know your options regarding a civil claim and to seek compensation for the medical bills and other financial losses you experienced after an infected animal bite.

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