Common Infections from Dog Bite Injuries
You have probably heard the saying that a dog’s mouth is far cleaner than a human’s, and the statistics seem to confirm this on the surface. The American Kennel Club (AKC) points out that dogs have around 600 different forms of bacteria in their mouths, compared to 615 for humans. The AKC does follow up by stating facts about how the comparison is unfair, due to the differences between humans and canines. Many of the germs are incompatible, meaning there is no transfer of disease between dogs and humans from saliva.
However, there are still many contaminants in a dog’s mouth that could lead to infection if you were bitten by one. These germs get into your skin, bloodstream, and other tissues. Infection delays healing and often requires hospitalization, and it can even lead to life-threatening medical conditions. It is important to discuss your options with an Atlanta dog bite injuries lawyer if you developed an infection, and read on for some of the most common types.
Infections from Dog Bite Injuries: The transfer of bacteria and other contaminants typically happens when the dog’s teeth puncture skin. Resulting infections may include:
- Cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that causes redness, swelling, and pain at the wound site;
- Pasteurella, which also affects the skin but can lead to pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and meningitis if untreated;
- Staphylococcus or streptococcus infections;
- Rabies, an infection that leads to flu-like symptoms and can be fatal without immediate medical treatment; and,
- Capnocytophaga, an infection from a dog bite that mostly affects victims with weakened immune systems.
Understanding Sepsis: The biggest concern with any infection, from any injury, is the life-threatening condition known as sepsis. When the human body detects a contaminant, it may mount an extreme, destructive response to try and get rid of the toxin. Sepsis is not itself an infection but is part of a chain reaction caused by infection. It is fatal if untreated, as organs will begin to shut down.
For a victim who survives sepsis, the potential for additional infections is very high for several months afterward. Some will also develop post-sepsis syndrome, which involves general weakness, fatigue, and emotional consequences.
Medical Care for Infection: The best way to prevent infection is to thoroughly clean the dog bite, and then head immediately to the ER or an urgent care facility. Treating physicians can do an assessment and may use stitches to close the wound, reducing the potential for germs to enter.
If you do develop infection from a dog bite, the typical treatment is antibiotics. You may be hospitalized for serious infections and those that show signs of sepsis.
Trust a Georgia Dog Bite Injuries Attorney to Pursue Your Claim
You may be entitled to recover for medical costs, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish after being attacked by a dog, and Zagoria Law can help with your remedies. Please call 404.653.0023 or go online today to schedule a complimentary consultation. An Atlanta dog bite lawyer can advise you after discussing your details.