After a dog bite, most people worry about the initial wound. However, some complications may develop during the healing process or shortly after the incident. If the dog’s teeth puncture your skin, you have a higher likelihood of facing complications.
According to Healthline, dog bites may introduce bacteria to your body, resulting in complications.
Types of dog bite infection
Various bacteria live in a dog’s mouth. Those germs may cause a bacterial infection if the dog’s teeth puncture your skin. For those who have compromised immune systems, infection becomes a major risk. The types of bacteria the dog may infect you with include staphylococcus, capnocytophaga and Pasteurella.
Some patients may develop the bacterial disease tetanus. Most adults need booster shots for tetanus every 10 years. If you suffer a dog bite before receiving your booster, you may need one following the bite.
Signs of dog bite infection
If you worry about a dog bite becoming infected, there are signs to look out for. If the bite becomes swollen, red and tender to the touch, it may indicate an infection. The skin around the bite may become warm. Other signs of infection include:
- Pus or fluid
- Intense pain
To prevent infection, wash the wound thoroughly. Use topical antibiotics around broken skin or stitches. Infections may show signs within the first 24 hours or may not appear for up to 14 days. Infections may spread quickly without medical treatment. Keep your bandages clean and change them every day.
To treat infections, most doctors prescribe antibiotics. In severe cases, you may require IV antibiotics to treat the infection.