Dog bites may lead to life-threatening infections

New Jersey dog owners have an ethical and legal obligation to control their pets. Yet, when someone shirks this duty and you suffer a serious dog bite as a result, you may face a wide range of hardships in the aftermath. In some instances, dog bites lead to capnocytophaga, a serious and potentially deadly infection that may lead to a host of other health complications.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of dog bite victims who develop capnocytophaga start to see symptoms emerge within about three to five days. Yet, in some cases, capnocytophaga symptoms do not become clear until up to two weeks after a bite occurred.

Signs of capnocytophaga

When you develop capnocytophaga, you may notice redness, swelling, drainage or blisters surrounding the spot where you suffered the dog bite. You may also develop a fever or experience vomiting, stomach pain, headaches or confusion. Muscle and joint pain after a dog bite may also indicate a capnocytophaga infection.

Risks associated with capnocytophaga

About three out of 10 people who have severe capnocytophaga infections die from them. When this happens, it often occurs somewhere within 24 and 72 hours after a dog bite victim first starts to notice symptoms. Such infections may also lead to sepsis, a life-threatening health issue that occurs when an infection causes the body to damage its own tissue.

When a dog bites you, wash the wound right away. It is also wise to seek medical treatment after a dog bite to lessen your risk of capnocytophaga, rabies or another dog bite-related health issue.