When someone else’s dog bites you or someone you love in North Dakota, you may worry about whether the bite could lead to an infection or more serious health complications. While not every dog bite does so, animal bites do raise your risk of infection. Depending on the severity of a dog bite-related infection, you or your loved one may wind up needing hospitalization, antibiotics or both.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “capnocytophaga” is a type of infection that may result after a dog bite. Someone’s risk of developing the infection after a dog bite typically increases if he or she has a compromised immune system or a chronic disease.
How to recognize signs of capnocytophaga
While many people who develop capnocytophaga following an animal bite see symptoms emerge within three to five days, it may take up to two weeks to become apparent. If you or someone you love suffered a dog bite, look for blisters, redness or swelling near the bite site. Fever, vomiting, or muscle, stomach or joint pain may also indicate a serious infection, as might sudden, uncharacteristic condition or an ongoing headache.
How to treat capnocytophaga
Doctors typically treat patients with capnocytophaga using antibiotics. In especially severe cases, you or your loved one may wind up needing treatment with more than one type of antibiotic to kill the infection and eradicate it once and for all.
A significant percentage of dog bites release bacteria into a bite victim’s body, but not as many lead to infection. However, infections, in some cases, have the capacity to cause serious, and even potentially deadly, health complications.