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Is this a Capnocytophaga infection?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2021 | Dog Bites |

Dog bites come with a number of physical risks and health hazards. You may feel tempted to treat it lightly, but the reality is, some of these hazards can put your life in jeopardy.

Infections are one of the biggest potential risks you face. Among them, infections that come from Capnocytophaga may rank particularly risky. Thus, it is important to recognize potential signs so you can take appropriate action.

Signs of a Capnocytophaga infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at the specific symptoms and signs associated with Capnocytophaga infections. The symptoms cover a somewhat wide range. They include:

  • Fever
  • Stomach pain or diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Confusion or headaches

You may also notice signs of infection around the bite wound almost immediately. Within hours, blisters may form around the bite. You may also feel pain at the site. Redness and swelling often accompanies infection, too. Finally, pus may start to drain from the wound or become visible.

Timeline of symptom onset

The average rate at which symptoms show is 3 to 5 days. But they can begin to turn up anywhere from 1 to 14 days. There is the possibility for a severe infection to take hold and progress quickly, though. These infections may cause sepsis, which can end in death in 24 to 72 hours. Severe infection also has an alarmingly high fatality rate, with 3 in 10 people succumbing.

The best way to prevent such an outcome is by seeking immediate medical attention after a dog bite. Even if you do not think it is serious, your wound could harbor fatal bacteria that may do you great harm.