How Can I Tell if I Have an Infection After a Dog Bite?

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Signs of an Infection After a Dog Bite

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer. Many people grow up with friendly pets such as cats and dogs. However, every pet owner knows that even the friendliest animal can turn aggressive when it is provoked. While there are many reasons why dog bites occur, one of the most common complications of these traumatic injuries that can develop is an infection. Therefore, everyone should understand what to do after a dog bite, particularly if it becomes infected.

Why do Infections Occur?

While there are many types of injuries that can be caused by a dog bite, there are also many infections that can develop. It’s no secret that the mouths of dogs aren’t that clean. Just like human mouths, there are many bacteria that inhabit the mouth of a dog on a regular basis, many of which help keep the dog healthy. On the other hand, these bacteria can also be transmitted through the skin and tissue of a person during a dog bite. While some dogs are more likely to bite than others, every dog bite runs the risk of causing an infection. If the bacteria in the dog’s mouth move into the skin and tissue of a person, the bacteria can colonize the wound, leading to an infection.

Signs and Symptoms of an Infection

There are several signs and symptoms of an infection that patients should watch out for following a dog bite. Examples of possible symptoms include:

Fever: If someone has an infection, the body is going to raise its temperature in response. Someone who develops a fever following a dog bite receives a good indication that they may have an infection.

Swelling: In response to an infection, the body will mobilize immune cells to the location of the bite to combat the bacteria. This increase in cellular activity will cause the tissue in the area to swell.

Redness: Also called erythema, the site of the dog bite will become inflamed. This is another immune response to an infection that could indicate an infection is present.

Discoloration: If the bite location starts to change color (including the redness above), such as yellow or brown, it could mean tissue damage. This tissue could be damaged due to infection and the patient should seek the attention of a medical professional.

If the bite location becomes infected, patients could become seriously ill. If left untreated a gangrenous infection could even lead to an amputation or a wrongful death. Therefore, it is important for patients to visit a doctor as soon as possible if an infection is suspected.

Contact an Experienced Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer. While there are many complications that can develop after a dog bite, an infection is among the most severe. If you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite injury, please contact my office for friendly, free advice. I can be reached at (916) 921-6400. Visitors who are calling me from outside of the Sacramento area can use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in the state of California. This forum includes personal injury lawyers who have proven to be top trial lawyers in the United States. Each member has won at least a million dollars in a single case on behalf of their clients.

I encourage visitors to take a look through my prior verdicts and settlements here.

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Image Source: via Wikimedia Commons, used under Creative Commons Attribution License, Generic 2.0

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