The ICEBERG EFFECT of BITE WOUNDS

Bite wounds are one of the most common cases emergency Veterinarians encounter. This article serves to inform readers on 2 major points surrounding bite wounds.

1. When the attacker shakes its head while biting, the victim's elastic skin moves with the attacker's teeth, often leaving only puncture wounds in the skin. However, the teeth can also tear through fixed deeper tissue, creating a dead space and innoculating the wound with bacteria and foreign material.

The iceberg effect describes minimal surface damage belying expansive damage underneath - muscle and other structures.
 

2. Animal mouths are filled with bacteria. When an animal bites, it innoculates the wound with dangerous bacteria. If the right action in wound management is not taken, the wound becomes infected (as seen in the picture ) and a whole host of other complications such as sepsis ensuing. Therefore, what would have been a seemingly innocent puncture wound could bring down the big boerboel.
 

Patients will require close monitoring for signs of infection, and that includes FOLLOW UP appointments with the attending vet.

I hope the above will assist pet owners in making the best decision for their pets when confronted by bite wounds.

Article By :
Dr. Adolf Makotose (BVSc)
Draad Street Veterinary Consulting Room
Cell: +27 (0)78 110 5352

About Dr Makotose:

Dr Adolf Makotose graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He proceeded to register with the South African Veterinary Council in 2009. Soon after registration, he worked at one of the 24 hour practices in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg until 2011. From private practice he joined the South African state veterinarian services to date.

He started Draad Street Veterinary practice in June 2014. He has experience in small animals, farm animals, and a bit of wildlife. Dr Makotose is married with a son, an office cat, cattle, and goats. 

 


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