More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the U.S. Some of these bites are minor, however it is estimated that about 800,000 of these victims will need immediate medical attention for their injuries. If an injury is not treated promptly, the victim can suffer serious complications. Here are some of the possible health complications after a dog bite injury:
It is rare to get rabies from a dog, but it is still a possibility that victims should know about. The rabies virus can only be transmitted to the victim if the dog has not been vaccinated for this disease. If an unvaccinated dog bites you, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know immediately. This disease is treatable in the early stages, but fatal once the symptoms begin to appear.
Some dog breeds are stronger than others, but in general, most dogs have powerful jaws. Because of this, many dogs are capable of causing nerve damage when they bite someone. Nerve damage occurs when the dog’s teeth pierces the nerves underneath the victim’s skin. It is possible to repair certain types of nerve damage, but if the nerve has been completely severed, the damage could be permanent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 18% of all dog bites become infected with bacteria from the dog’s mouth. Pasteurella is one type of bacteria that often causes these infections. In fact, this type of bacteria is found in about 50% of all infected dog bite wounds. This bacterial infection can lead to pain, swelling, and redness around the open wound. Some victims also experience joint stiffness and swollen glands as a result of this bacteria.
It’s also common for dog bite victims to develop a staph infection at the site of the wound. If these infections are not treated right away, they can spread to other areas of the body.
Dogs also carry clostridium tetani bacteria in their mouths. This type of bacteria produces the tetanus toxin, which interferes with muscle contractions and causes muscle spasms. If left untreated, the toxin could eventually start to interfere with the muscles the body uses to breathe. Therefore, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure you do not develop tetanus.
If you have been bitten by a dog, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to hold the dog’s owner accountable for your injuries. Your main priority should be your wellbeing–let us handle the rest. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.