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Atlanta Injury Lawyer > Blog > Dog Bites > Health Complications You Might Not Expect From Georgia Dog Bites

Health Complications You Might Not Expect From Georgia Dog Bites


In the moments after you were bitten by a dog, all you can think about is the excruciating pain and getting medical attention right away to reduce it. However, the emergency care you receive in the immediate aftermath of an animal attack may not be the end of your treatment journey. According to a report published in American Family Physician, approximately 1 in 5 dog bite injuries become infected. Crush injuries, puncture wounds, and bites to the hand are more likely to become infected than scratches. The report also mentions that outpatient treatment of infection may fail, leading the victim of a dog bite to be hospitalized – for the infection more so than the actual bite.

These complications from dog bite injuries can lead to serious health risks, while some infections can be life-threatening. The losses for the victim can be considerable, so it is encouraging to know that you may qualify for monetary damages for the complications stemming from an animal bite. Your Atlanta dog bite injuries lawyer will explain the details if you were affected by:

Capnocytophaga: This bacterial infection is characterized by blisters and oozing fluid from the dog bite wound, as well as redness and swelling. The victim may also develop a high fever and headache, and Capnocytophaga is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms may not be noticeable for up to 14 days after the dog bite. Untreated, this infection could lead to heart attack or gangrene.

 Sepsis: This medical condition is not an infection, but rather a reaction to the infection from a dog bite. Sepsis occurs when the human body initiates an extreme response to contamination, and it can be life-threatening without immediate medical care. 

Tetanus: Though the tetanus vaccine may prevent deadly complications, this condition is still a serious infection. Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a dog bite, causing:

  • Muscle spasms, particularly in the stomach;
  • Cramping in the jaw, which is why tetanus earned the nickname “lockjaw”; and,
  • Difficulty swallowing. 

Rabies: Though Georgia regulates rabies shots for dogs, not all owners comply with the law. If bitten by a dog with rabies, the victim may develop it as well. Symptoms include headache, fever, and weakness, but these signs should not be confused with the flu. Once rabies infection is established in the body, there is no effective treatment. The key is to get immediate medical care before it takes hold, even if you are unsure about the dog’s rabies status. If you were exposed, you can expect:

  • A fast-acting injection of a medicine that prevents the rabies vaccine from infecting you
  • A series of shots containing the rabies vaccine, which helps your body recognize and fight infection.

Speak to a Georgia Dog Bite Injuries Attorney About Your Rights

To learn more about legal remedies for victims, please contact Zagoria Law at 404.653.0023 or via our website. We can schedule a free case assessment to discuss details. Our experienced Atlanta dog bite injuries lawyers will advise you after learning about your situation.



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