A dog bite attack can be painful and scary enough on its own, but sometimes it’s what happens later that puts your life at risk. Though infections from animal bites are rare, they are serious and can be life-threatening, so they are nothing to take lightly.
Interestingly, though dog bites are probably more common than serious cat bites, the latter animal is actually more likely to give its victim an infection. Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of cat bites lead to infection, compared with just 1 percent of dog bites, according to Healthline.
In general, the more an animal bite breaks the skin and lets in bacteria, the more likely the victim will develop an infection. Thus, a scrape from an animal tooth is very unlikely to get infected, while a puncture wound carries the highest risk.
This explains why cat bites are more likely to lead to infection. Cats’ teeth are better at causing deep puncture wounds than dogs’ teeth. The wounds tend to be deep but small, and heal over quickly, keeping the bacteria underneath the surface trapped inside the body.
Symptoms of an animal bite include:
- Pain, swelling and inflammation at the wound site
- Pus or fluid coming from the wound
- Flu-like symptoms
- Numbness around the wound
- Breathing problems
- Muscle weakness or tremor
Infection can best be prevented by properly cleaning and assessing the wound. When a bite gets infected, quick medical attention is necessary to avoid serious complications.
Even if your dog bite injuries did not result in infection, you may have suffered serious, painful injuries that cost you a lot in medical bills and lost wages. A skilled personal injury attorney will work to help you get the compensation you deserve from the owner of the dog that hurt you.