Dog bites vary in severity from minor cuts and bruises to those that are more serious, such as broken bones and infected bites. As much as we adore our dogs, we are all well aware of how dirty a dog’s mouth can be (hint: dogs tend not to have great oral hygiene). After a dog bite, victims suffer from a range of medical conditions and diseases caused by exposure to the dog’s saliva. It is important to understand the symptoms and treatment from dog bites to ensure you receive proper medical care.
Types Of Infections Caused By Dog Bites
Dog bites primarily include bacteria or viral infections that present as fevers, rashes, and usually inflammation. These bites can be extremely dangerous for children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems (such as cancer patients). Infections need to be identified and treated immediately after a dog bite. Infections are known for causing cellulitis, which can include inflammation, swelling, fevers, soft tissue infections, and eye infections. Some serious infections can include:
Staphyloccus or streptococcus
Aka “staph” or strep” can be extremely serious and can even lead to sepsis if left untreated.
Pasteurella multocida and pasteurella canis
This is a common bacterium found in a dog’s mouth and can lead to mild infections in adults and are more serious for children.
These are serious bacteria infections that are resistant to traditional antibiotics and can be fatal if not treated immediately.
While E. coli is generally considered a food-based bacteria it can certainly dwell in an animal’s stomach and spread through a dog bite.
The infamous viral disease which causes swelling in the brain and death if not treated with a vaccination. By the time a dog bite victim experiences these symptoms the disease is often untreatable, which is why most dog bite victims are immediately treated with the vaccination if they are suspected of having rabies.
These are just a few of the more common diseases caused by dog bite wounds that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified. Dog bite infections are almost impossible to treat without antibiotics and medical intervention, so it is absolutely imperative that you get checked out by a medical professional after a dog bite. Waiting until you actually have symptoms is a mistake and is one that can prove to be deadly, especially if you have a compromised immune system. After an initial checkup it’s important to keep in contact with your doctor and update them immediately with any new symptoms.
Treatment Of Dog Bite Wounds
When visiting an urgent care or emergency room, a physician will likely look at all of your injuries to determine the right course of treatment. If the wound is shallow, you may only receive bandages and antibiotics to treat any potential infections. For more serious lacerations, you may develop scarring which may require treatment from a plastic surgeon.
Leaving dog bite wounds untreated is extremely dangerous and sometimes even fatal. Children especially should be treated immediately by a doctor, as well as any elderly person and those that have a compromised immune system. After visiting a doctor, they may tell you, and you should always request a follow-up appointment if you experience any further symptoms, such as rashes, fevers, inflammation, joint swelling, muscle pain, and headaches. While most people do not like to make a fuss over a dog bite it is important to know these injuries can negatively affect your life. In addition to costly medical bills from immediate care to follow-up and treatments, you may also miss out on work, develop scars, or suffer from anxiety and nervousness around animals.
In Texas, you can pursue a claim for damages against a dog’s owner if it attacked you and caused injuries. These claims can provide compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, and emotional damage from the attack. To ensure you receive proper compensation from an experienced dog bite lawyer, contact the lawyers at Genthe Law Firm, P.C. We offer a free consultation and are backed by our no-fee guarantee. If we do not recover for you, you will be charged no fee!