What is a capnocytophaga infection?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2021 | Personal Injury

After suffering from a dog bite, rabies is not the only potential issue you need to keep an eye out for, nor is it the only reason why you should go to a doctor. In fact, even if you are entirely sure a dog does not have rabies, you should seek medical attention anyway.

Why? Because a dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, and this bacteria can cause you a plethora of health issues if you allow it to fester inside the bite wound, which will happen if you do not clean it properly.

When do signs appear?

The CDC takes a look at capnocytophaga infections. Capnocytophaga infections come from bacteria which, in dog bite attacks, ends up injected deep into the tissue due to the dog’s sharp teeth. Even a relatively light puncture can transfer the bacteria, which may lead to infection.

Signs of this infection will generally begin to appear within 3 to 5 days of the initial bite. However, you may notice symptoms as early as 1 day after the attack, or as late as 14 days after.

Signs of an infection

Some of the signs can include fever, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and pain in the joints or muscles. Confusion may also occur. You might notice blisters around the bite wound within hours after receiving the bite, too, along with redness, pain, swelling or draining pus at the injury site.

If left untreated, this infection can have serious complications like kidney failure, heart attack or gangrene. It can even result in sepsis, which can lead to death within 48 to 72 hours of the first onset of symptoms. This is why treatment is so crucial.