5 Common Dangerous Infections from Dog Bites

Little dog bite, close up

Indeed, a dog is man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of dogs could get aggressive and bite. You could be casually petting or playing with a dog, and it suddenly bites, causing severities such as undergoing reconstructive surgery or nursing serious injuries, wounds, and infections. Therefore, as a dog owner, it is crucial to know dog behavior patterns to avoid being unaware of factors that trigger your dog to bite you or someone else.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States records approximately 4.4million dog bites yearly that cause over 850,000 injuries, and about half of those injuries are from children. Moreover, the damage caused by dog bites can be insanely expensive; therefore, it is essential to have a personal injury attorney from firms like Lopez & Humphries, who will ensure your proper compensation. 

What Are the Most Common Infections from Dog Bites?

It is vital to immediately tend to a dog bite, especially if it pierced through your skin since the bacteria from the dog’s mouth can enter your body and cause infection. Furthermore, it is advisable to do an initial First Aid procedure after a dog bite or seek medical treatment if critical.

You should also find out the dog’s vaccination history to avoid the bite affecting other parts of your body.

Below are the five common infections from dog bites:

1. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease transmittable through a bite from a rabid dog that affects the central nervous system. It is known for its fatality since it eventually causes brain disease and death a few days after the symptoms kick in. However, a post-exposure vaccine exists, and it’s only administrable before the onset of the rabies symptoms. Ensure you vaccinate your dog to avoid a rabies scare.

2. Capnocytophaga Infection

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a rare infection caused by dog bites and licks. It is mainly in the saliva and gums of healthy dogs and cats and primarily affects weak immunities. Despite being a rare infection, it has serious complications such as gangrene, kidney failure, and heart attacks.

In more complex situations, there is amputation of either the toes, fingers, or limbs. There is a wide range of Capnocytophaga symptoms, and it is essential to wash a dog bite immediately with soap and water to avoid this infection.

3. Tetanus

Tetanus is a serious infection that affects the nervous system and has no cure. A dog’s bite can cause tetanus bacteria to enter your body; however, most dog bites are not Tetanus prone unless contaminated with soil.

Furthermore, Tetanus has become uncommon in most areas due to routine vaccinations for children and booster shots for adults. Tetanus symptoms such as stiffness of jaw and abdominal muscles are severe, but the infection is manageable through medication.

4. Pasteurella 

Pasteurella is the most common pathogen in dog bites, and this bacteria can enter your body through dog bites and scratches. It mostly causes a serious skin infection known as cellulitis with severe symptoms and complications such as meningitis, arthritis, pneumonia, and eye infections. Fortunately, there is an antibacterial treatment for cellulitis that clears the infection in about a week.

5. Sepsis

Untreated dog bites can cause Sepsis, which is a life-threatening infection. Sepsis is your body’s extreme reaction to an infection. Some dog bite infections escalate to Sepsis and lead to death in 1-3 days. One can overcome Sepsis through proper mediation and treatments.

5 Tips for Preventing Dog Bites

To avoid getting an infection, injury, or skin damage from a dog bite, follow these tips:

  • Avoid unfamiliar dogs.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is eating or feeding its puppies.
  • Do not run away or scream when you encounter an aggressive dog; instead, stay calm.
  • Pick a furry friend that has a good temperament.
  • Stay away from angry or frightened dogs.