Further Complications from Dog Bite Diseases
Infections developed after a dog bite can lead to further medical issues if they go unaddressed. For example, like any untreated open wound, dog bites have the ability to cause sepsis and septic shock. The development of septic shock can quickly lead to organ or system failure.
Heart attacks, strokes, gangrene, and pneumonia are just a few of the complications related to dog bite infections. It is important to watch the affected area for signs of infection in the hours and days after a bite, as complications can develop quickly. Immediate medical intervention is often necessary.
People who are infected with Capnocytophaga can have a range of signs and symptoms such as:
About 3 in 10 people who develop a severe infection die. Some infections can progress very quickly, result in sepsis, and lead to death within 24 to 72 hours after symptoms start.
After being bitten, most people who become ill will show symptoms within 3 to 5 days, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 14 days.
Most Capnocytophaga infections usually occur with dog or cat bites. But some people who develop a Capnocytophaga infection have not been bitten. People may be infected after close contact with a dog or cat, especially after contact with the animal’s saliva (spit).
Capnocytophaga infection can cause serious complications, including heart attack, kidney failure, and gangrene. Some people may need to have fingers, toes, or even limbs amputated because of complications from severe infection.
Strep and Staph Bacteria Infections from Dog Bites
That same study from the Clinical Microbiology Reviews found that Streptococcus and Staphylococcus were tied for the second most common bacteria found in dog bite wounds. These bacteria tend to live on the skin of animals and humans alike. When a bite occurs, the puncture wound can introduce this bacteria from the dog’s mouth, as well as the victim’s own skin, to cause infection.
Doctor explains how to assess and treat dog bites
Dogs’ mouths are home to numerous strains of bacteria, many of which can complicate a dog bite wound. When it comes to what diseases are caused by dog bites, each type of bacteria can cause a variety of infections when they enter the human body, such as the following:
A dog bite victim should receive first aid as soon as possible in order to thoroughly clean and dress the wound. Depending on the severity of the bite, it is often beneficial to seek medical attention as well. A doctor can examine the wound and take steps to limit the risk of infection, such as flushing out the area, providing stitches and other protective measures, and issuing a prescription for antibiotics.