What should be the focus of history in patients with animal bites?

Updated: Sep 18, 2018
  • Author: Alisha Perkins Garth, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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The history in patients with animal bites should include the following:

  • Time and location of event

  • Type of animal and its status (ie, health, rabies vaccination history, behavior, whereabouts)

  • Circumstances surrounding the bite (ie, provoked or defensive bite versus unprovoked bite)

  • Location of bites (most commonly on the upper extremities and face)

  • Prehospital treatment

  • Patient’s medical history (immunocompromise, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, tetanus and rabies vaccination history)

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