Should You Go to an Urgent Care for Animal Bites

In most cases, animal bites in humans are not life-threatening and require no treatment other than good first aid. An urgent care clinic is a great place to get treated for an animal bite because of their advanced medical equipment and staff trained to deal with more serious wounds. These types of wounds should be watched closely for signs of infection (increasing redness, increasing pain, swelling) or any kind of symptoms (fever, chills). If an infection seems likely (or if they refuse to respond to your home remedies) visit an urgent care immediately. If it seems like a minor wound with little chance of becoming infected then try home remedies like cleaning it well with soap and water and keeping it elevated until it heals completely; that said watch for signs of infection over 24 hours.

Here are a few things to consider before you decide. An urgent care center is basically a walk-in clinic, but it’s also open longer hours than your family doctor’s office. Its goal is to take care of illnesses and injuries that don’t require an emergency department visit but that require immediate attention or follow-up for complicated cases. In most urgent care centers, patients can get in-and-out treatment for sore throats, pink eye and ear infections; they can also get stitches if they’re cut. In some clinics, patients can even receive flu shots, lab tests and x-rays (especially when they need those services quickly). But should they really head straight to an urgent care center after being bitten by their pet rabbit?

Small animal bites and scratches typically don’t need medical treatment, although they should be kept clean. Most often these injuries aren’t serious and will heal on their own. If an animal bite or scratch was caused by a rabies-carrying species (see rabies information below), immediate veterinary care is recommended. Call your veterinarian or local health department to determine if your pet needs treatment. Your veterinarian will decide whether to give you medication for possible exposure to rabies, so it is important that she or he knows about any bite or scratch right away. Animal bites are more common in children than adults; however, cat bites may be more likely to become infected than dog bites, even though both animals have teeth that harbor bacteria that cause infection.


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