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Should you worry about infection after a bite?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Dog Bites

Many individuals have two main concerns after suffering from a bite attack. First, will it scar? Second, does the dog have all of its vaccinations? If you feel like the injury will not scar and you know the dog is safely vaccinated, you may forget that there are other things to worry about.

For example, what about infection? This is actually one of the bigger risks that a dog attack carries, and yet it often gets overlooked.

The initial site of injury

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at capnocytophaga infections in bite victims. Capnocytophaga is one of many types of bacteria commonly found in a dog’s mouth. Other types include pasteurella and listeria. This bacteria can cause nasty infections at the site of injection if left untreated.

You will likely notice signs of infection within hours to days of a bite. However, you should note that infection symptoms may not appear until up to 14 days after an attack. This long period of time often puts people into a state of false security.

What if you leave a bite untreated?

Pay attention to the site of the bite, first. It will likely feel painful or tender. It may look swollen and red, too. You might also notice fluid or pus draining from the wound. You could experience nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal distress along with fever and headache. You may have flu-like symptoms like aching muscles and sore joints, too.

Unfortunately, if left untreated, infection from bites can cause severe health issues like heart attack or organ failure. You can also experience gangrene, necrosis or even sepsis. Needless to say, you should seek immediate medical attention to circumvent these risks.