A dog’s mouth is an active habitat for a number of disease-causing pathogens. As such, one of the major concerns following a dog attack is the risk of contracting an infection. This underpins the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as possible following a dog attack.
Here are some of the infections you might contract if you are attacked by a dog.
Rabies infection is, perhaps, the most well-known infection caused by dog attacks. The virus is usually transmitted when the infected animal’s saliva gets into contact with an open wound. The first symptoms of rabies infection are usually fever, general body weakness and headache. Left untreated, rabies infections are fatal.
Pasteurella is a bacterium that lives in most dogs’ mouths. Following an infected dog’s attack, this bacterium causes a skin infection known as cellulitis. Symptoms of cellulitis can begin to show 2-24 hours after the attack. These include swelling, redness, tenderness and pus around the infected area.
Left untreated, a Pasteurella infection can result in the following complications:
- Blood infection
- Bone, joint and tendon infections
- Urinary tract infection
So what should you do after a dog attack?
If a dog bites you, it is important that you take appropriate steps to minimize the risk of infection. Here are some of the steps you need to take:
- Thoroughly clean the wound with water and soap
- Apply a first aid antibiotic cream on the wound
- Go to the emergency room
A dog attack can leave you with devastating injuries. If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.