Clinical Communications: Adults| Volume 43, ISSUE 4, P627-629, October 2012

Lizard Bites of the Head and Neck



      As the ownership of lizards becomes more prevalent in the United States, injuries from these exotic pets will increase. Emergency and primary care physicians must be familiar with the proper management of lizard bites to the head and neck.


      The aim of this case report is to discuss the potential complications and proper management of lizard bites to the head and neck.

      Case Report

      A 47-year-old man presented to the emergency department 3 h after his 5-foot iguana bit his face. The wounds were irrigated and primarily closed. Tetanus prophylaxis was administered. He was given oral amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium for 7 days. Sutures were removed 1 week after the repair.


      Topical antiseptic care, verification of tetanus status, primary wound closure, and careful monitoring of non-venomous lizard bites is recommended for lizard bites to the head and neck. Wounds at risk for infection should be treated with a quinolone or other antibiotics covering Salmonella as well as human skin flora. Venomous lizard (e.g., Gila monster and Mexican Beaded Lizard) bites require prompt attention due to potentially significant morbidities including anaphylaxis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and acute myocardial infarction.


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