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Alligator, Crocodile, and Iguana Bites

By Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago
Thomas Arnold, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport

Alligator and Crocodile Bites

Alligator and crocodile bites usually result from handling the animal. However, rarely, people may be bitten by alligators and crocodiles in the wild. Although alligator and crocodile bites do not contain venom, they are often very severe.

Alligator and crocodile bites are usually serious injuries. Doctors must stop bleeding. Then wounds are cleaned, and severely damaged tissue is removed. Because bites from alligators and crocodiles are very likely to become infected, people are usually given antibiotics.

Iguana Bites

Bites and claw injuries are becoming more frequent as more iguanas are kept as pets. Wounds are cleaned and closed as for any other wound. Antibiotics may be needed.