Animal bite or scratch: good reactions

Animal bite or scratch: good reactions

Infectious agents that are criminalized in case of a bite and scratch are those in the oral cavity and those in the skin (PasteurellaAnd the BartonellaAnd the StaphylococcusAnd the Streptococcus speciesAnd the Capnocytophaga canimorsus and anaerobic bacteria).

cat scratch disease

Back to Bartonella HensleyIt is a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium, and the disease is responsible for the lesions Erythema vesicular or papular skin (3-10 days incubation), followed by lymphadenopathy of the drainage area that may progress to suppuration (Fig. 2). endocarditis B. henselae It occurs preferentially in pre-existing valvular diseases and requires serology and transthoracic echocardiography.


This is due to Pasteurella multilucida (Gram-negative bacteria). The incubation period is too short (3 to 24 hours). The lump lesion is inflammation (Fig. 1) with purulent exudate, and may be accompanied by satellite lymphadenopathy and sometimes lymphangitis. In the absence of treatment, arthritis, osteomyelitis, tendinopathy and, rarely, sepsis and secondary sites (pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis) may occur.

infection Capnocytophaga canimorsus

It can cause serious complications in humans such as endocarditis, sepsis, septic shock, and even death, especially in patients with spleen disease, immunodeficiency or chronic liver disease.

infection Streptobacillus moniliformis

Although scratches and bites from mice, rats, or other rodents are still reported, 10% of them may be complicated by this infection (Incubation from 4 to 10 days) which manifests as febrile rash, sepsis, secondary sites (arthritis, abscess, pneumonopathy, meningitis, endocarditis) and, rarely, death.

snake bite

A snakebite can infect the oral flora of the animal (possibly of a fecal nature, due to the droppings of its prey): Pseudomonas aeruginosaAnd the Proteus SAnd the Clostridium spAnd the Fragile BacteroidesAnd the Salmonella sp.

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In addition to the risk of infection, there may be a risk of botulism (In France, only vipers and Montpellier snakes have venomous fangs.) To reduce the spread of poison : Stretch the person, position so that the stinging part is lower than the level of the heart (never put a tourniquet; there is no need to suck the poison). It is necessary to reassure and calm the patient and, above all, to avoid useless or even dangerous gestures (tourniquet, alcohol intake, regular injection of polyvalent antitoxin serum, subcutaneous administration of corticosteroids or heparin) and contact 15 (assessment and management in hospital care).


In France, the disease has mainly become a disease of travelers exposed to rabies in genetic regions, and the risk of human exposure to terrestrial mammals is low (few of the animals introduced illegally). however, Rabies should be taken into account especially in the case of bat bite (absolute reference to immediate post-exposure prophylaxis combining immunoglobulin and anti-rabies therapy); If the bite was from an unknown animal, contact a rabies control center.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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