Throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, it is rare to encounter a household that either does not have a dog for a pet or has someone in the family who likes dogs. They have been loyal friends and companions for many years. For some, they also work as service animals.
However, it is easy to forget that a dog is still an animal and some are not particularly friendly. In fact, there are certain dogs that are vicious and should be avoided. It can be difficult to differentiate between “man’s best friend” and a dog that could bite, hurt and even kill someone, but it is imperative to keep this reality in mind.
When a dog bites someone, it can cause a clear injury like a tear in the skin severe enough that it needs stitches. There can be punctures, bruising and more. People have been disfigured by dog bites, lost limbs and died. A problem that can come up and is often forgotten about is the chance of infection. This can happen even from a small nip.
People who have suffered an infection from a dog bite could face substantial health-related ramifications. Recognizing what kinds of infections can occur, how they can damage a person’s health and even lead to their death is vital to treating it. It is also key to understand what happened when thinking about legal options.
Are there certain infections that can stem from a dog bite?
A dog’s saliva can be infectious and there are a variety of issues that can come up after a bite. Those who have been bitten are advised to wash the wound immediately and to seek medical care even if they do not believe it to be serious. Watching for symptoms such as swelling, redness, pain, wound drainage, problems moving the area that was bitten and a warm feeling at the site is key. After there has been an infection, the person might have a fever, be shaky and experience night sweats.
Some infections that can arise include Capnocytophaga, sepsis, rabies and tetanus. Capnocytophaga could show some of the above-listed symptoms as well as vomiting, diarrhea, feeling joint pain and headaches. In many instance, these are not immediately apparent. They can show themselves quickly or take up to two weeks to manifest. If it is untreated, the person can have heart problems, kidney failure or gangrene.
Sepsis could result in extreme variances in body temperature, showing confusion, being sleepy during the day and experiencing discomfort and pain. This is a potentially severe infection that can be fatal.
Rabies is a concern with any animal bite, especially a stray. Those who are infected with rabies might feel unexpected weakness, itchiness and other sensations where the bite occurred, and flu-like symptoms. Tetanus bacteria might result in jaw cramping, stomach muscle spasms, issues swallowing, and stiffness.
Those who were bitten by a dog and suffered an infection should get help
Regardless of the dog that did the biting and the circumstances surrounding it, it is essential for people who have been victimized and are suffering the physical, emotional and financial aftereffects to know they have rights. Even docile and friendly dogs can bite and people should be held accountable for their pet’s behavior, especially if it injured someone.
Consulting with professionals who care about people and will do whatever they can to help can be a major difference in a claim. The entire situation needs to be investigated with medical information, a background on the dog’s history and a complete analysis of the case. It is also beneficial to have guidance from those who are entrenched in the community, know its residents and understand their concerns.
With dog bites and infections, time is of the essence. Immediately after getting care and treatment, it is wise to contact those who have a wealth of experience in these incidents – especially uncommon ones like dog bites and infections – to determine a strategy to move forward.