After suffering from a dog bite, many people will first fear the cosmetic implications, i.e. the possibility of scarring or worse damage, and rabies.
However, just simple infections make up a huge percentage of the complications that affect many dog bite victims. Capnocytophaga infections remain one of the worst offenders.
Early-stage capnocytophaga infection
The CDC discusses the possibility of capnocytophaga infections. These infections happen due to an improperly cleaned dog bite injury in which bacteria from the dog’s mouth ends up below the surface of the skin.
In cases where these infections pose the biggest problem, the bacteria may lodge itself into the tissue below the skin’s surface or even the fat. Sometimes, bacteria can get into the blood, causing an even bigger problem.
Victims will often first notice warmth, redness and swelling around the bite area itself. This can occur within a few hours, but can also manifest days after the initial bite. If left unchecked, these injuries can continue to swell and grow painful to the touch. They may also begin to ooze pus.
At this point, the bite injury victim could experience symptoms similar to the flu. This includes full body tremors or aches, chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting and fever. Muscle cramps or spasms may also occur.
In serious cases, extra complications such as sepsis can potentially put the victim’s life in danger. A type of sepsis called septic shock can even end a victim’s life within little more than a day of the symptoms first appearing.
Thus, it is important to treat bite injuries seriously from the start and get them properly cleaned and seen by a doctor.