If the bite shows signs of infection, is located near your eyes or joints, or is on your hand, ask for antibiotics. Flu-like symptoms seven to 14 days afterwards means you may have psittacosis, commonly known as parrot fever.
While their bites rarely cause serious wounds, these pets can carry disease-causing bacteria. If a bite from one of them shows any sign of infection, consult your doctor.
A dog bite may require antibiotics, especially if the wound was difficult to clean or wasn't cleaned immediately. If the site shows signs fo infection (redness, warmth, swelling, discharge or increasing pain), see a doctor.
Cats have long, sharp teeth, which can drive bacteria beyond the reach of soap and water. Talk to your doctor about starting a course of antibiotics.
Use this quick guide to see if you need meds
Pets are loads of furry fun – until one of them impales you with its incisors. Worst case, some bites will require antibiotics, says Dr Itzhak Brook, an infectious-diseases specialist at Georgetown University. Our guide can help you figure out if you need meds. First, wash the wound for five minutes. Then rinse it, pat it dry, and bandage it. If the bite bleeds longer than 10 minutes, is near a joint or bone, or is on your face or head, go to a hospital ER.
If you haven’t had a tetanus booster in the past five years, ask for one. If the attack was unprovoked or the animal was foaming at the mouth, you’ll likely need the rabies vaccine. Regardless, the bite should be reported and the animal observed for 10 days; if the animal shows no signs of rabies, you’re okay. Since they live in cages and don’t come in contact with other animals, hamsters and guinea pigs rarely carry rabies.