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Can a parrot bite be serious?

We Americans love our pets. However, as explained numerous times in this post, dog and even cat bites can cause significant injuries and illnesses. Dogs and cats are not responsible for all harmful animal attacks, though. Numerous varieties of birds of all sizes are also popular pets in Illinois and elsewhere – and you may not have considered that some can deliver serious bites.

Large parrots, such as macaws, cockatoos and amazons, have very strong beaks that can inflict bites that tear skin and even break bones. These hefty parrots are not the only type of pet bird that can injure you, however. The smaller beaks of cockatiels, lovebirds and parakeets can also be strong enough to break skin, and their claws can scratch hard enough to draw blood. The National Center for Biotechnology Information cautions that you should thoroughly clean and closely watch minor abrasions and cuts for signs of infection, since bird bites and scratches can spread bacterial illnesses.

For the same reason, you should seek medical attention for larger bites that may need stitches, disinfecting and antibiotics. In one example, a 17-year-old boy saw his doctor after a friend’s parrot bit his finger, tearing a six-centimeter gash in the skin. X-rays revealed that the bird had also fractured his finger.

Bites from exotic pets, like parrots, have resulted in thousands of injuries and hospitalizations. Bird owners are just as responsible for taking precautions to prevent attacks as dog and cat owners are in protecting others from injuries. You may be eligible for compensation from a negligent pet owner, so this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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