After suffering from a dog bite, you may feel a false sense of security if you know who the dog belongs to. After all, the owner can then clarify whether or not the dog has its vaccinations. They can provide you with a medical history, too.
But did you know, one of the biggest dangers of bite victims is not in the physical scarring or the chance of rabies? Instead, it is in the possibility of infection.
Early warning signs of infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss the warning signs of a capnocytophaga infection. This is just one of many types of bacteria that lives inside a dog’s mouth. Unfortunately, a dog’s mouth is not the most cleanly place. It hosts many bacteria, some of which can pose potentially lethal danger to you.
Most infections will show signs within hours or days of the initial bite. However, some infections can take as long as 14 days to start showing symptoms. This means you can easily think you are out of the woods when in reality, you are not.
The immediate area of injury
Pay attention to the area around the bite, first. It may look red, swollen and tender to the touch. It could hurt if you press it. It may also weep pus or other fluids. These are all signs of infection. As the days go on, you may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal cramping and distress. You may experience headache and confusion, too. Flu-like symptoms may follow, such as joint pain or full body aches.
You must seek medical attention immediately after a bite injury. Otherwise, you risk an infection taking root and causing serious health problems and complications.