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What should you know about a capnocytophaga infection?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2023 | Dog Bites & Attacks

Dog bite attacks can leave a victim dealing with both physical and mental scars. However, bacteria can also wreak unexpected havoc.

Capnocytophaga bacteria live within a dog’s mouth, and it can potentially cause major problems in the form of infection.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC discusses capnocytophaga infections in dog bite victims. This infection happens when the capnocytophaga bacteria within a dog’s mouth enters into the skin and bloodstream through the dog bite.

Typically, the first symptoms will come in the form of redness, swelling and soreness. The wound may begin to ooze puss. If left untreated, inflammation will worsen. The wound may appear streaky or blotchy.

Over the course of 1 to 3 days, typically, a person may experience symptoms similar to flu. This can include fever, sweating, nausea, vomiting, chills and body aches.

What are the risks?

If a person with this infection still does not seek medical treatment after symptoms begin to appear, they risk several serious potential side effects.

For one, an infection can put a great strain on the body. When overworked, organs have a harder time functioning and do not do their job as well, which can lead to health complications.

Certain infections can also increase a victim’s risk of sepsis. This blood infection can result in death within 72 hours of symptoms first appearing.

Thus, it is best for dog bite victims to get their wounds cleaned and treated properly from the start by a medical professional, especially if the victim does not know the dog.