You thought the dog bite was the worst of it, but then a couple of days after the terrifying attack, the area around the bite swelled and turned red. The pain increased and your flesh felt hot. You wondered if the bite could be infected. Contact our firm at 954-767-6500 to find out more about dog bites causing infection.
Dog bites have a high rate of associated bacterial and viral infections, with some of the most common including:
- Rabies. Rabies is almost always fatal, and there is no effective treatment. There is, however, a way to prevent this lethal viral infection by undergoing a series of rabies shots. If you wait until you have symptoms, though, it is too late. The injections will not work once rabies has developed. The first signs of rabies are a headache, weakness, fever, and overall discomfort.
- Pasteurellosis. This bacterial infection is better known as “cat scratch disease” even though the bacteria is in the mouths of both cats and dogs. Since animals with this type of bacteria are typically healthy, you cannot rely on the condition of the dog to decide whether you need medical attention. This disease causes pain and can damage your nervous system.
- Tetanus. This bacterial infection, also called “lockjaw,” is fatal in 10% to 20% of cases. The nickname comes from the disease causing your neck and jaw muscles to clench, making it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. The Clostridium tetani bacteria creates a poison that causes your muscles to contract uncontrollably to the point of pain and even at times breaking your bones. A tetanus shot can prevent this painful disease. Go straight to the emergency room if you experience headaches, fever, fast heart rate, seizures, muscle pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, or cramps in your neck or jaw after a dog bite.
- Cellulitis. If streptococcus, staphylococcus, or other bacteria enter your dog bite wound, you can develop cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. If left untreated, this condition can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream or migrate to deeper layers of tissue. Flesh-eating strep and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can develop in these wounds. Get immediate medical attention if the dog bite swells, turns red, is warm to touch, or becomes more painful.
If you have any doubt whatsoever that your dog bite wound might have an infection or that the bite exposed you to a possibility of rabies, get medical attention immediately. Find out if the dog’s owner is liable, what the defendant may argue against you in your animal and dog bite case, and what type of evidence you will need to prove in your animal and dog bite case.
How to Prevent an Infected Dog Bite
Every dog bite needs immediate professional medical care to prevent infection and address the possibility of rabies and tetanus. Follow the treating physician’s instructions and keep the wound clean. Pay attention to the wound and how you are feeling. Get follow-up care at the first sign of infection or another complication caused by a dog bite.
How an Infected Dog Bite Can Change Your Life
Dog bite infections can cause:
- High fevers
- Brain damage
- Other neurological damage
- Flesh-eating disease that requires amputation
- Emotional distress
- Death, and
Getting Legal Help for a Dog Bite
After you get professional medical attention, call the Montero Law Center to schedule your free consultation. We will go over your case with you and explain your right to compensation as well as answer any questions about dog bites causing infection. Call us today at 954-767-6500.