Most New York residents think about dogs when they think about the liability of pet owners for animal attacks, but cats like to scratch and bite too. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recently reported that cat bites can result in very serious -- and difficult to treat -- bacterial infections. Problems related to infectious cat bites are even more serious than dog bites.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 33 percent of patients with cat bites on their hands who came to the doctor for treatment had to be hospitalized. Then, 66 percent of those hospitalized required surgery to clean out bacteria and take away infected tissues.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic who completed the study said that when bites happened on a tendon or joint, they were more likely to come with redness, pain and swelling. These risks intensified for anyone with weakened immune systems. Interestingly enough, doctors who regularly perform hand surgeries were not surprised by the results -- as they are already well aware of the dangers of cat bites. However, the public will no doubt be surprised to learn this information.
Cats have sharper teeth than dogs and this means that their bites tend to leave deeper puncture wounds. When a tooth pierces the sheath around a tendon or enters a joint, this can create a situation where bacteria easily grows. The mouths of cats are full of bacteria -- just like the mouths of dogs and humans -- and this can assist in the spread of infection.
New York residents bitten by a cat could have legal claims they can pursue against the cat owner. A personal injury attorney can review the extent of the cat bite and the circumstances under which the infectious cat bite occurred in order to evaluate the best strategy for seeking financial recovery after such an injury.
Source: MinnPost, "Cat bites to the hand can cause serious infections, Mayo study finds," Susan Perry, accessed Sep. 20, 2016