Infection is a serious complication with dog bites. A dog’s powerful jaws can cause significant soft-tissue damage, including injury to muscles, ligaments, and nerves, to say nothing of the skin. However, a dog’s mouth hosts countless bacteria and other germs that can make a victim deathly sick if the wound is not properly washed out. If a dog has bitten you, regardless of how superficial the bite, you need to keep your eye out for an infection.
Germs to Watch Out For
A victim might suffer any one of 300 different infections with a dog bite, but some of the more common include:
- Staph or strep infections. These are very common bacteria. If left untreated, then they can lead to sepsis and possibly death.
- Pasteurellosis. Almost every dog has this bacterium in their mouths. A pasteurellosis infection can spread to muscles and bones if not treated in a timely manner.
- E. coli. This bacterium is usually associated with food poisoning. It can make someone very sick when it gets into the bloodstream.
- Fusobacterium. A victim can develop meningitis if infected with this bacterium.
Rabies is a virus that deserves its own mention. The virus can lead to brain swelling and almost certain death if the patient does not get a rabies vaccine soon after the dog bite. It is important to notify animal control of the dog bite so they can watch the dog for signs it develops rabies and lay the animal down if it does.
Signs You Have an Infection
There are some common signs that you have an infection. Be on guard for:
- Inflammation. A wound will probably begin swelling within 8-24 hours after the dog bite.
- Increased redness. A dog bite wound will probably be red to begin with. But watch for increased redness and for red streaks shooting out from the wound.
- Fever. This is a common bodily response to an infection.
- Pus leaking or draining from the wound. The discharge might be white or yellow in color.
Not all dog bite infections are the same, but these are some of the more common signs. If you notice your wound changing in appearance, get to a doctor, who will probably prescribe penicillin or another antibiotic. Remember to follow the entire regimen as ordered by your doctor so that the bacteria do not become resistant to the antibiotic.
Speak with a Miami Dog Bite Attorney
Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum has assisted numerous dog bite and attack victims get compensation to cover their losses. For help with your case, please contact us today by calling 305-371-2692. We offer a free, confidential consultation.