Missouri residents who have been bitten by a dog or cat should take immediate action. Even if the bites themselves do not seem very dangerous, they can actually pose quite a health threat in the form of the infections that may follow.
Pet Poison Helpline states that cat bites can be more dangerous than dog bites in terms of infection. This is due to the fact that a cat bite can puncture quite deeply below the surface of the skin, making it difficult or impossible to clean properly at home. The depth of the puncture wound allows bacteria from the cat's mouth to enter the bloodstream and can quickly cause infection in less than 24 hours. They also go on to state that over half of all cat bites will become infected.
Dog bites can cause similar issues. FindLaw states that dog bites should be treated immediately by a healthcare professional regardless of how "serious" the injury seems. As with cats, bites that result in puncture wounds can allow bacteria to get beneath the skin and into the bloodstream. Along with the risk of infection, there is also the potential risk of rabies, especially if the dog or cat seems to be a stray or if the owners have not gotten their pets vaccinated.
Regardless of what the bite looks like, seeking medical attention should be a top priority. This can help cut down on the potential severity of any infections, or even completely prevent an infection from taking hold.