The current concepts in management of animal (dog, cat, snake, scorpion) and human bite wounds

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Mar;78(3):641-8. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000531.


Animal and human bite wounds represent a significant global health issue. In the United States, animal and human bites are a very common health issue, causing significant morbidity and even, in rare scenarios, mortality. Most animal bite wounds in the United States are caused by dogs, with cat bites being a distant second. Human bite wounds constitute a dominant subset of all bite wounds. Several studies of bite wounds have reported improved outcomes with early diagnosis and immediate treatment. However, the available literature on the initial treatment provides a plethora of conflicting opinions and results. In this review, our aim was to identify and assess the current evidence on the management of animal (dog, cat, insects, scorpions, and snakes) and human bite wounds.

Level of evidence: Review article, level III.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology
  • Bites and Stings / therapy*
  • Bites, Human / epidemiology
  • Bites, Human / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Insecta
  • Scorpions
  • Snake Bites / epidemiology
  • Snake Bites / therapy
  • Snakes
  • United States / epidemiology