When a dog bites you or someone you care about in Minnesota, you may not notice signs of infection until sometime later. However, infections are a frequent result of dog bites. They often occur when bacteria inside the animal’s mouth makes it way into your body or bloodstream.
According to Medical News Today, washing a dog bite right away is an important step in lowering the chances of a serious, potentially life-threatening dog bite-related infection such as rabies, sepsis or tetanus. However, once an infection occurs, it may require more intensive medical care, such as the use of antibiotics or vaccines, to treat it.
Signs of a dog bite-related infection
When a dog bites you and your pain last for more than 24 hours afterward, this may indicate that the bite has become infected. Swelling or redness around the wound or fluid draining from the wound may also serve as signs of infection. If you begin feeling unusual warmth around your bite area, or if you begin to have trouble moving that part of your body, these signs may also suggest something more serious is going on. Certain types of dog bite-related infections, such as capnocytophaga, may lead to serious repercussions including heart attack, kidney disease or a need for amputation. About three in 10 people who develop this type of infection die from it.
Signs a dog bite-related infection is spreading
After a dog bite, it is also important that you learn to recognize that signs that might indicate the infection have spread to other parts of your body. Such indications might include fever, shaking, convulsions or night sweats.
If you suspect your dog bite may have become infected, do not delay seeking medical treatment.