Bites from domestic or wild animals on any part of the body can be very serious. The hands are especially prone to develop serious infections from animal bites due to their very compartmentalized and complexed anatomy. Even small animal bites can enter joint spaces or involve bones in the hands leading to rapidly progressing infections. Vital structures such as tendons and nerves can be injured leading to long term functional loss of the hand.
Prompt evaluation and treatment is a must for any bite injury. Treatment may involve surgical exploration, cleaning of the wound, and repair of any injuries sustained to deeper structures. Patients are usually placed on an appropriate antibiotic and monitored very closely over the next several days for infection.