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What infections can you get from a dog bite?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Dog bites

Dog bites are more than just painful and irritating. When a dog’s teeth pierce the skin, harmful bacteria from the dog’s mouth can enter the wound.

This can then result in several common and painful infections that lead to worsening health.


Cellulitis is a potential consequence of a dog bite. It happens when bacteria enter the deeper layers of the skin, causing inflammation and infection.

Symptoms of cellulitis include redness, warmth, swelling and tenderness around the bite wound. Without proper treatment, cellulitis can spread rapidly and lead to serious complications.


While relatively rare, rabies is a severe viral infection that can come from a dog bite. Rabies affects the central nervous system and is almost always deadly once symptoms show up.

Early symptoms of rabies include fever, headache and weakness. This is then followed by more severe symptoms such as hallucinations, paralysis and difficulty swallowing.


Tetanus happens due to bacteria commonly found in soil and animal feces. When a dog bite breaks the skin, these bacteria can enter the body and cause infection. Tetanus infections can lead to muscle stiffness, spasms and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, tetanus is deadly.

While dogs are often beloved companions, everyone needs to recognize their potential to seriously harm human beings. By understanding the types of infections that can result from a dog bite and taking certain steps, people can protect themselves from these serious infections and various other health issues. Anyone struggling with a dog bite may want to seek fair compensation.