Bites and stings

Animal and human bites

Most animal bites are not serious, but you may need to get medical help if the bite is severe or there are signs of infection.

This page is about human bites and bites from animals, such as cats and dogs, that have broken the skin. There's a separate page about snake bites.

There are some things you can do after being bitten by an animal or a person.

If you've been bitten by an animal or person, a doctor or nurse will check the wound.

They may:

  • clean the bite thoroughly – if the wound is very dirty, some of the affected area may need to be removed to reduce the risk of infection
  • close the wound with stitches, sticky strips or special glue, or leave it open to heal
  • give you antibiotics to stop the wound becoming infected
  • check your risk of getting tetanus and rabies – you'll be given treatment to prevent these serious infections if needed

If you've been bitten by a person, you may also be offered a blood test to check for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.