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Recognizing capnocytophaga after a dog bite

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Dog Bites

Not every New Jersey dog bite leads to a serious injury or dangerous complications. Yet, sometimes, what seems at first like a relatively minor dog bite may progress into something far more serious. Capnocytophaga is one such complication linked to dog bites, and in severe cases, it has the potential to prove life-threatening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, capnocytophaga signs do not always manifest immediately after an animal bite. In some cases, symptoms begin to appear within about three-to-five days. Yet, in other situations, signs and symptoms indicative of this serious infection may not become apparent until up to two weeks after the bite took place.

Symptoms associated with capnocytophaga infections

Many people who develop capnocytophaga have similar symptoms. Often, one of the first signs is swelling or redness around the infected area. Intense pain at the bite site or pus draining from the wound may also indicate infections. Dog bite victims who develop capnocytophaga may also experience a fever, upset stomach, vomiting, or muscle and joint pain.

Complications associated with capnocytophaga infections

Science shows a link between capnocytophaga and a number of serious and potentially deadly complications. Some who develop this type of infection develop sepsis soon after, which constitutes a life-threatening medical emergency. Capnocytophaga also has the potential to cause heart attack, kidney failure and gangrene. Some who develop it also wind up having fingers, toes, arms or legs amputated. About three out of 10 serious infections also lead to death.

Capnocytophaga may prove serious. Thus, it is advisable that dog bite victims wash their wounds right away and then seek medical attention, even if they initially feel alright.