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What complications can develop from dog bites?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Personal Injury |

If you suffered from a dog attack or bite, you should always treat the injury as soon as possible. While some dog bites may be mild in nature, others can lead to severe complications. Many of these bites require medical attention rather than at-home treatments.

According to Healthline, dog bites may cause several different complications.

When should you seek medical attention?

If you have a dog bite from an unknown dog or a dog that does not have an up-to-date vaccine history, you should visit a medical professional as soon as possible. When dogs do not have vaccines, they could potentially have rabies or other diseases. If the dog acts erratically or seems sick, it may be rabies.

Other reasons to seek medical attention include:

  • Intense bleeding
  • Exposed bone, muscle and tendons
  • Intense pain
  • Loss of function
  • Leaked fluid or pus
  • Swelling or red and inflamed wound

If you have a fever or feel weak and disoriented, see a medical professional as soon as possible.

What complications occur because of dog bites?

One of the most common complications is infection. A variety of bacteria live in a dog’s mouth. Germs lead to bacterial infections, particularly in those with weak immune systems.

Large dogs may be able to break, splinter or fracture bones. This is particularly common in the hands or feet. Other dogs may cause damage to your blood vessels, nerves or muscles. Even small wounds may have more serious complications.

If a dog breaks the skin, you should immediately wash the wound and treat it with topical antibiotics to avoid a complex infection. Often infection symptoms begin to appear within 24 hours and up to 14 days later.