Even though many dogs make excellent members of the family, others can be aggressive, unpredictable and downright dangerous. When dogs attack, they often cause serious bodily injury and long-term psychological damage.
Unfortunately, the risk to your overall health may not end when the dog attack does. If you develop an infection, you may be in danger of serious bite-related complications. These may include paralysis, amputation, sepsis or even death.
Canine saliva has potentially dangerous bacteria
The mouth of any dog is a germy place. Not only does canine saliva often have capnocytophaga, a type of bacteria that can make bite victims seriously ill, but it also may contain anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria thrive in places where oxygen is not present. If you suffer a deep bite wound, anaerobic bacteria may make their way into your bloodstream.
Infections have some tell-tale symptoms
If you suspect you have an infection after sustaining a dog bite, it is critical for you to seek emergency medical care. After all, infections can go from minor to deadly faster than you may think. Here are some tell-tale symptoms of infection:
- Fever, chills and sweats
- Redness and soreness around the wound
- Loss of appetite
- Muscular stiffness
- Confusion or disorientation
Infections are not always easy to treat
Even though doctors may use antibiotics to cure bite-related infections, you may not be entirely out of the woods when you arrive at the hospital. Regrettably, not all infected dog bites respond to antibiotics. Even worse, if you have a compromised immune system or certain chronic illnesses, your body may have a hard time fighting off infection even with medical intervention.
Ultimately, acquiring an infection after a dog attack may change your life forever. You may not have to bear the high cost of your medical treatment and recovery, though, as you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the dog’s owner or handler.