Mammal Bites

Antonio Durazo and James E. Lessenger

Key words: animal bites, wound care, tetanus prophylaxis, antibiotics, rabies prophylaxis

Around the world mammals are encountered in agriculture as:

1. Livestock

2. Working animals, used on farms for production

3. Pets of farm families

4. Wild animals

Livestock includes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, hogs, horses, bison, and other animals that are raised, slaughtered, dressed, and processed for food or leather. In some parts of the world, dogs, cats, and other small animals are used as food. Horse, dog, and other meats are also used as pet foods. In Australia, kangaroos are raised for their meat and hides. In northern climates in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia, furred animals such as minks are raised for their pelts. In northern Europe, reindeer are raised for meat and hides. In many animals, not only are the meat and hides useful, but the endocrine organs are used for medications, the hooves and horns are used for glue and ornaments, and the hair or fleece is used for padding or textiles.

Livestock are also raised for sale as working animals. Horses, mules, donkeys, and camels are examples of animals raised for this purpose. Surplus animals are often slaughtered for their meat or hides.

Working animals are used for transportation, hauling loads, or pulling machinery or plows. They include horses, mules, donkeys, and camels. Many of these animals are also bred for sale or for other uses such as racing and recreation. Dogs are used extensively as working animals, especially in the raising of sheep, goats, and other herd animals. Cats are used on farms for rodent control and pets.

Pets are used on farms for personal recreation. In addition, animals such as dogs, cats, hamsters, prairie dogs, rats, mice, and monkeys may be raised on farms for sale as pets.

Wild animals such as deer, elk, caribou, bison, and wild pigs are hunted commercially for their meat, horns, hooves or hides. In addition, wild animals may threaten workers on farms and ranches, many of which are located in wild parts of the world. In India, for example, tiger attacks are not uncommon. In the United States, mountain lions have again become a threat to western farmers. In some parts of Africa, lions, tigers, and other animals still attack herds and herders. In fisheries and in the harvest of seaweed and other ocean crops, dolphin bites are not unheard of (1-4).

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