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Alligator, Crocodile, and Iguana Bites


Robert A. Barish

, MD, MBA, University of Illinois at Chicago;

Thomas Arnold

, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020

Alligators, crocodiles, and iguanas can all inflict injuries, some serious. (See also Introduction to Bites and Stings.)

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.

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