Not every Massachusetts dog bite leads to life-threatening circumstances. Yet, sometimes, the bacteria a dog leaves behind in a bite victim’s body has the capacity to develop into a potentially deadly infection. Capnocytophaga is an infection often caused by dog bites that may lead to serious health complications, and in severe cases, even death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that capnocytophaga often develops after someone comes in close contact with animal saliva. While some dog bite injuries might manifest immediately after a bite, capnocytophaga often takes longer to show itself. While most dog bite victims who develop capnocytophaga do so within about three-to-five days, sometimes, the infection takes up to two weeks to become apparent.
Possible indications of capnocytophaga
Many people who develop capnocytophaga first notice redness, swelling or blisters surrounding their dog bite wound. Sometimes, fevers accompany these physical symptoms. The affected area may also begin to drain pus. Bite victims may also develop stomach pain or experience vomiting, headaches or confusion once this type of infection enters their bodies.
Possible complications caused by capnocytophaga
A capnocytophaga infection may prove deadly, with about three out of 10 people who develop severe infections dying from them. Even if someone who develops capnocytophaga does not die, he or she may experience a host of serious complications including sepsis, gangrene, kidney failure or heart attack. Some with this type of infection also have to have some of their extremities amputated.
Because signs of capnocytophaga may not develop right away after a dog bite, it is advisable that dog bite victims always seek medical help after a bite, even if they may not think the wound is severe enough to warrant medical attention.