We all know that dog bites can lead to serious wounds, blood loss, scarring, nerve damage, and tissue damage. But did you know that even seemingly minor dog bites may lead to life-threatening infections? Because of this danger, it is vital to know that any dog bite that punctures the skin or draws blood should be thoroughly cleaned and most dog bites should be examined and treated by a medical professional.
Why do so many dog bites lead to infection? Very simply, a dog’s mouth is far from the cleanest place on earth. In fact, virtually every dog’s teeth and mouth are filled with dangerous bacteria and other pathogens that can easily be transmitted when the dog bites. If these bacteria are transferred to your dog bite wound, they can multiply and spread, causing a serious infection. All in all, an estimated 20 percent of all dog bites lead to an infection.
What are the signs of a dog bite infection?
• Swelling and sensitivity • Red, painful skin • Pus or discharge • Increased warmth in the area • Swollen lymph nodes • Fever and confusion
The best way to prevent a dangerous infection from a dog bite is to get your wound treated by your doctor as soon as possible after the animal attack. Your doctor will clean and disinfect your wound and then apply antiseptic and a clean bandage. He or she will also prescribe antibiotics to you if necessary in order to kill any bacteria that was not cleaned out of the wound or that has entered the bloodstream.