Dog bites require immediate medical attention, no matter how severe you may think they are. Many victims mistakenly believe that if their bite wound does not involve grievous physical damage, they can simply patch it up at home.
But the physical damage of a bite is only one of many risks. You cannot see all risks. In fact, one unseen risk comes in the form of infections. Among infections, Capnocytophaga infections may pose a particularly gruesome threat.
Immediate red flags
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examine signs that might indicate a Capnocytophaga infection. Signs can start appearing as soon as hours after a bite, but may manifest anywhere from 1 to 14 days after the initial bite attack. Some of the first symptoms will likely involve the bite area itself. For example, it may swell or look red. It could feel tender and painful to the touch. You may also see pus weep from the injury.
Other symptoms involve the body’s response to fighting off the infection and often involve things like fever and body aches. It can also include nausea and diarrhea, along with stomach pain or vomiting. You may also experience a headache and confusion.
Potential deadly risks
If left untreated, these infections can progress into life-threatening issues. For example, you may suffer from gangrene or necrosis in the bite area, which could lead to amputations. It could also lead to sepsis, an infection of the blood. After the first symptoms of sepsis appear, it is possible for a victim to die within 72 hours. Needless to say, you want to see a doctor immediately to lower your chances of going through these issues.