Travelers to developing countries are often warned not to try to stroke dogs due to the risk of serious infection.
Yet, many of these infections can also be a problem if a dog here in the U.S. were to bite you.
Four major infections possible from a dog bite
A dog’s teeth can have a devastating effect on skin and muscle. Yet they can also transmit serious infections. Here are four to be aware of:
- Capnocytophaga: Joint pain, headaches and vomiting might all indicate you have contracted this.
- Tetanus: Hopefully, you were vaccinated against this as a child, but you will probably need a booster if attacked by a dog and its teeth or claws break the surface of your skin.
- Rabies: This is not that frequent among domestic dogs in the U.S., but if contracted, it can be fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics. It’s more of a concern if you live in a rural area where domestic dogs may contract it from wild animals.
- Sepsis: This is one of the biggest killers in the country, as people often pick it up in hospitals after treatment for something else. In short, it means the body has a particularly bad reaction to an infection and goes over the top in trying to kill the infection, harming the body itself.
Getting immediate medical treatment will be crucial if a dog bites you
Even if you have no apparent damage, it allows doctors to check for these infections and possibly administer preventative treatments. Then, you need to seek legal help to understand if you can claim against the dog’s owner. If you’ve been injured, you have every right to expect the dog’s owner to cover your losses.