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Dog bites may lead to life-threatening infections

Dog owners have a duty to contain and control their pets and keep them from harming others. When they fail to do so and the animal bites you, the repercussions may prove tragic. In some cases, dog bites may lead to a condition known as Capnocytophaga, which is a serious infection that causes death in about three out of every 10 cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Capnocytophaga often develops after a dog or cat bite, and you may begin to notice symptoms within about three-to-five days of the bite. In some instances, symptoms may take as long as two weeks to develop.

Signs of Capnocytophaga infection

A broad range of symptoms may accompany a Capnocytophaga infection. You may develop blisters near the wound, or it may become red, drain pus or swell. You may also develop a fever as part of the response to this serious infection, and you may also experience vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, confusion, headaches, or muscle and joint pain.

Complications associated with Capnocytophaga infections

Capnocytophaga infections may also cause serious, potentially life-threatening complications. In some cases, you may require amputation of your fingers, toes or limbs after an infection. Other associated serious complications include kidney failure, heart attacks, gangrene and sepsis.

Infection risks

Though the majority of Capnocytophaga infections result from animal bites, the animal does not have to necessarily puncture your skin to cause the infection. Sometimes, simply coming in contact with an animal’s saliva is enough to cause the condition. Find more information about this topic on our webpage.


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