Any bite wound raises concerns. It doesn’t help that medical complications after a dog bite can become serious–or even deadly–after the emotional hurt you’re probably already feeling. Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend! But sometimes we misread their intentions or get in the way of an altercation when we shouldn’t. These are a few of the complications that can result from a dog bite.
- Your smallest concern is probably rabies. Chances are you were bitten by a family dog or a neighbor’s pet. Whether the animal is stray or not, you should seek medical attention right away. You’ll receive treatment for every possibility.
- Infection is among the most common complications. These can result in only a matter of hours. If you notice pain, inflammation, or swelling around the bite, then you might be in a bit of trouble. Infection results in up to 15 percent of dog bites. You’ve probably heard how filthy dog mouths are, so it might surprise you to hear that this number skyrockets to about 50 percent after a cat bite!
- Zoonotic diseases are those animal diseases contracted by a human after a bite. These include pasteurella multocida and staphylococcus aureus (a form of staph infection). Both are extremely dangerous. The former can result in septic arthritis or even death.
- Children under the age of ten are highly susceptible to death by blood loss. That’s because they haven’t grown high enough to escape the dog’s lunge and bite, which often occur on or around the head or neck. These injuries usually present as avulsions, punctures, or lacerations. See a doctor right away!
- If you haven’t been vaccinated, you might come down with tetanus. This bacterial disease attacks the nervous system. You’re more likely to come down with this disease if the bite broke the skin.
If you find that you no longer have mobility of the appendage where the bite occurred, then you should seek immediate medical attention. The same goes if you come down with fever, or incur symptoms of fatigue, night sweats, trouble breathing, tremors, or swollen lymph nodes. After a bite occurs, be sure to wash the wound with soap and water. Watch out for fractured bones or wounds that may be deeper than you thought.