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What are the most common dog bite complications?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2023 | Blog, Dog Bites |

When it comes to dog bites, most people worry more about the wounds they can see. However, there are complications behind the depth of the wound.

Complications can result in serious, long-term consequences.

Infection risk

Dogs have more than 600 kinds of bacteria in their mouths. During a dog bite, the dog’s saliva can enter the wound and cause an infection to grow. The most common bacteria associated with dog bites are staphylococcus and streptococcus. Immediate medical attention and prompt wound cleaning can help minimize the risk of infection.

Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection that may result following a dog bite. The symptoms of cellulitis include swelling, redness and tenderness. Without treatment, cellulitis can spread.

Nerve and tissue damage

If the dog bite does not leave puncture wounds, you may assume you will not have lasting complications. However, the pressure of the bite can cause damage to the underlying tissue and nerves. You may experience long-term complications, including difficulty using the affected body part and impaired sensation. In severe cases, you may require reconstructive surgery.

Abscess formation

If the dog punctures the skin, those puncture wounds can develop into abscesses. Abscesses are collections of pus that may require drainage to heal. When left alone, abscesses can spread through the body, resulting in a blood infection.

Dog bites may seem innocuous initially, but you should never ignore the potential complications. If you experience a dog bite, the dog’s owner may also be responsible for any complications due to the initial bite.