What is a capnocytophaga infection?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2021 | Animal Bites

Dog bites pose a danger to your health for more reasons than just the possibility of rabies. A dog does not have the cleanest of mouths, and bacteria lurking in their saliva can end up in your bloodstream or subcutaneous tissue after a bite.

Thus, it is important to handle the possibility of infection swiftly and thoroughly to prevent the problem from potentially growing deadly.

When do symptoms show?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at the symptoms that might indicate a capnocytophaga infection. These infections happen due to capnocytophaga bacteria which enter the skin after it gets punctured by a dog’s teeth. The infection may end up in the bloodstream, or it could fester in the subcutaneous or fat layer under the skin and develop there.

Red flags of infection

Symptoms of this infection often appear between 3 and 5 days after the initial bite. However, you may notice signs within hours of the bite, all the way up to 14 days after the initial bite. The first signs will usually appear around the bite area itself, and it may include things like blistering, redness, swelling, heat and pus.

You may also experience symptoms that mimic other forms of infection, like headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Soreness and stiffness in joints also serve as a common point of complaint.

If you leave this infection untreated, you may suffer from severe repercussions like gangrene and even sepsis. This is a blood infection that has a very high mortality rate, killing victims within 48 to 72 hours of initial symptoms. Needless to say, you want to avoid this outcome at all costs.

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