A dog attack can result in devastating, life-altering and sometimes life-threatening injuries. While dog bites can cause permanent scarring, pain and limitations, they are not the only concern after a dog bite.
According to the CDC, infections can occur after dog and cat bites. Dogs carry a bacteria called capnocytophaga in their saliva. If bit by a dog and infected, it could have serious consequences.
If you contract capnocytophaga, you will most likely experience symptoms within the first three to five days. However, some people experience symptoms as late as 14 days.
Symptoms of the infection include redness and swelling around the bite. You may see drainage from the wound or blisters developing around it. Other symptoms may include:
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
A severe infection can result in fatalities. Some infections spread quickly and result in sepsis.
Serious complications can arise when you develop capnocytophaga. This is why you must receive medical attention directly following a dog attack. Even if you think the bite does not look hospital worthy, you could develop a life-altering infection.
In severe cases, patients may have a heart attack or experience kidney failure due to the infection. Some require amputation because of gangrene and other complications from the infection itself. If you have any disorder that causes you to have a weakened immune system, you might be more prone to infection.
Dogs carry various bacteria in their mouths. If you suffer a dog bite, wash the area with soap and water to limit the chance of infection.