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The danger of cat bites

Ohio residents should know that while cat bites may seem like minor injuries, they can actually lead to serious conditions. The reason for this is that cats make small, deep wounds that seal over quickly and essentially trap the bacteria from the cat's mouth inside the wounds. Cats carry a range of bacteria that can cause tissue infections.

One of the most common types of bacteria is called pasteurella multocida. Those who are infected with this will develop red, swollen skin. Fever and flu-like symptoms are also common. If it spreads to the surrounding tissue, it will develop a condition called cellulitis, and if it enters the blood, it will cause septicemia (blood poisoning). The young, elderly, ill and immunosuppressed are most prone to serious infections. Death occurs in rare cases, but only in the absence of medical treatments.

Those bitten by a cat will want to wash the wound under running water but without scrubbing the wound or using strong disinfectants as these actions may harm the skin. A mild salt solution could be used to clean the wound, but after this, victims are encouraged to see a doctor. Serious infections could develop within 24 to 48 hours, but a doctor could effectively treat wounds with an antibiotic or, if necessary with suturing. If the cat has rabies, it could be placed under quarantine.

Pet owners have a strict liability for their animals, which means that those who incur pet bites automatically have the grounds for a claim. Victims won't necessarily have to prove that the other party was negligent, but they still may want legal representation. A lawyer could act as negotiator or arbitrator in striving for a fair settlement for the victim. If one cannot be achieved, the lawyer could prepare the case for court.

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