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Capnocytophaga infections may lead to serious complications

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Dog bites can lead to severe complications, particularly if they result in a Capnocytophaga infection. These infections develop from bacteria found in the mouths of dogs and cats.

While not every dog bite will lead to an infection, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with these incidents.

Understanding Capnocytophaga infections

Capnocytophaga bacteria exist in the mouths of most dogs, although not all dogs will carry these bacteria. When a dog bites, these bacteria can enter the bite wound, leading to infection. Capnocytophaga infections can cause a range of symptoms, including redness, swelling and pain. In severe cases, these infections can lead to sepsis, meningitis or other life-threatening complications.

Recognizing symptoms

Symptoms of a Capnocytophaga infection may not appear immediately after a dog bite. In some cases, symptoms may take several days or even weeks to manifest. Monitor the wound closely and seek medical attention if any signs of infection develop. These signs may include increasing pain, redness spreading from the wound, pus or drainage, fever, chills or nausea.

Seeking prompt treatment

Prompt treatment is necessary for managing Capnocytophaga infections. After a dog bite, be sure to clean the wound with soap and water and seek medical attention, even if the wound seems minor. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection or treat an existing one. In severe cases, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that about three in 10 people who develop a severe infection die from it. Understanding the symptoms, seeking prompt treatment and taking preventive measures can help mitigate the risks of these infections.