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After an animal bite, the biggest concern is infection. The chance of infection depends on the type of animal that bit your child and where your child was bitten. It also depends on your child's general health. Many animal bites are not closed with stitches, because this can increase the chance of infection.
The bite may take as little as 7 days or as long as several months to heal, depending on how bad it is. Taking good care of your child's wound at home will help it heal and reduce the chance of infection.
The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if your child is not getting better as expected.
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Adaptation Date: 12/13/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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