After suffering from a dog bite, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Many people hold a false belief that if the wound does not “look bad”, they do not need to treat it outside from what they can do at home.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake that could actually cost a person their life.
A delay in symptom manifestation
The CDC discusses symptoms tied to capnocytophaga infections. These infections occur due to the bacteria capnocytophaga, which grows commonly in the mouths of dogs. The difficult thing about this bacteria is that it can enter the bloodstream through very small gashes in the skin. In short, even if the bite does not look bad, it can still get infected.
On top of that, signs of infection can actually take days to manifest. This can lead to a false sense of security in the bite victim, who may think that they have successfully fended off infection due to a lack of symptoms in the first day or so.
Deadly complications of infection
The worst part about this infection is the damage it can do if left untreated. In some cases, infected areas can succumb to gangrene, which may cause necrosis of the tissue and result in amputation of the affected area.
This infection may also lead to sepsis, a rare but potentially lethal infection of the blood. Once diagnosed with sepsis, it has a high fatality rate. In fact, septic shock cases have a fatality rate of 40 percent, and sepsis can claim a life within days.