Kerry Dinardo, 38, said she was in the garage of her Douglas County home when she heard a noise and opened the door, only to find a coyote outside.
"I startled it, and it startled me," Dinardo said. "It lunged at me. I jumped back and put my knee up, but it bit me right by my belly button."
Dinardo was taken to a local clinic before being transferred to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe.
Her home is near a pasture, where many cows are giving birth this time of year. Officials said the birthing may also be drawing the coyotes to the neighborhood.