Cat Attacks See Big Rise; Dog Attacks Up Slightly in South Australia

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

From tiny babies to octogenarians, cats have caused injuries to 84 people who required hospitalization in the last fiscal year, and victims spent from 38 days to two days in the hospital being treated for those attacks cats, according to Australia’s Dog and Cat Management Board annual report.

But South Australians between 50 and 74 (39 people) were attacked the most, sometimes resulting in serious infections that require specialized medical procedures, reports the Herald Sun.

The number of cat attacks in SA causing serious harm jumped from 63 from the previous 12 months and 55 in both of the two preceding years, according to the Herald Sun.

Three babies or toddlers (0-4 years) had a hospital stay because of a cat attack, but no children aged 5-9 did. Ten victims were aged 50-54 and 10 others were 60-64.

Eleven people aged 80 or more, were hospitalized after a feline confrontation.

A typical cat bite is usually on the hand or wrist and will puncture the skin because of the animal’s sharp teeth, the report revealed.

Both cat bites and scratches could become infected. "While exact figures are uncertain, approximately 16 per cent of the patients (attacked by cats) who come to an emergency department may have an infection,'' said Royal Adelaide Hospital Director Critical Care Services Associate Professor Geoff Hughes.

Dog attacks resulting in admission to hospitals - mostly bites causing bruising, puncture wounds or lacerations - rose by five to 235, with victims spending an average of 2.3 days in care.

The number of dog attacks reported in 2012 to councils was 1320, down 34 on the previous year. Not surprisingly, children were the most common victims.

Source: Herald Sun