Owing to their popularity as household pets, dogs account for the majority of bites as a result of protecting their owners and territory. About 10 to 20 people in the United States, mostly children, die from dog bites each year. Dog bites typically have a ragged, torn appearance. Cat bites involve deep puncture wounds that frequently become infected. Infected bites are painful, swollen, and red.

Rabies may be transmitted from animals (most commonly bats, raccoons, foxes, and skunks) infected with that organism. Rabies is rare among pets in the United States because of vaccination, but in countries where animals are less likely to be vaccinated, bites from pet animals may transmit rabies.


  • Wound cleansing
  • Sometimes antibiotics

After receiving routine first-aid treatment, people who have been bitten by an animal should see a doctor immediately. If possible, the offending animal should be penned up by its owner. If the animal is loose, the person who has been bitten should not try to capture it. The police should be notified so that the proper authorities can observe the animal for signs of rabies.

Doctors clean an animal bite by flooding the wound with sterile salt water (saline) and cleansing it with soap and water. Sometimes tissue is trimmed from the edge of the bite wound, particularly if the tissue is crushed or ragged.


  • Aconite – There may be great fear after an animal attack and bite. Aconite should be the first remedy to give to help with shock.
  • Arnica – As with all wounds and injuries, Arnica can help with bleeding, swelling, bruising, and general healing of all wounds. It is the leading remedy and most available. If there is not something more specific about the wound, Arnica nearly always helps.
  • Arsenicum Album – When the wound has burning pain and is becoming inflamed or infected. If Arsenicum does not work in infection with burning pains try Anthraxinum or Pyrogenium. Arsenicum may also help with headache after a bite.
  • Belladonna – High fever after a bite. The wound becomes hot and red with swelling. Good for dog bite and the treatment of rabies.
  • Calendula – After lacerations and torn tissues. It is also good in mother tincture or potency to irrigate open wounds in sterile water or apply to the skin around wounds to promote healing. It is very antiseptic.
  • Hepar Sulph – After the wound becomes infected with much pus and foul smell. Especially good to promote suppuration in a closed puncture wound.
  • Hypericum – Especially good in all puncture wounds and wounds that are very painful. Bites to fingers, toes, nose, ears. Bites along nerve pathways with much pain.
  • Lachesis – Bites that are blue and painful. Fainting after the bite.
  • Ledum – Bites especially puncture wound bites. Bite becomes cold, blue. Helpful to prevent rabies from developing. Good for the bites of rats also.
  • Lyssin – The rabies nosode. A very good remedy in all bites especially in dogs and cats. One of the first remedies to think of. Cat scratch fever often responds well to Lyssin.
  • Stramonium – The leading remedy in advanced rabies infection. Think of Stramonium and Belladonna.