1 in 3 "Cat accidents" lead to hospitalizations according to Dr. Brian Carlsen, a Mayo Clinic plastic surgeon & orthopedic hand surgeon. Cats are often known for their feisty personalities. When confronted, cats are not shy about scratching or biding. According to a new Mayo Clinic study, 1 in 3 cat-bite victims had to be hospitalized due to infections. In these cases, the cats bit down on human hands SO hard that they ended up transferring DANGEROUS bacteria into the joints & tissue that can become easily infected. Dr. Carlsen says, "The dogs' teeth are blunter, so they don't tend to penetrate as deeply & they tend to leave a larger wound after they bite. The cats' teeth are sharp & they can penetrate very deeply, they can seed bacteria in the joint & tendon sheaths." The Mayo Clinic study examined 193 patients who suffered a cat bite. Out of this sample, 57 of them had to be hospitalized for an average of 3 days. Out of the 57 hospitalizations, 38 of the patients had wounds that needed to be surigically irrigated. 8 of them had to undergo more than 1 surgical procedure & others needed reconstructive surgery. Roughly 50% of the patients sought help from their primary care physicians whereas the others headed straight to the emergency room! Dr. Carlsen meows, "Cat bites look very benign, but as we know & as the study shows, they are not. They can be very serious." I'm the Puffman & all I can say is, if you own a cat... love him like a brother but watch him like a hawk! The Mayo Clinic Health Minute is heard weekday evenings during our Action Packed 5 O'Clock News Hours on KSEN AM 1150.