Being bitten by a dog is a horrible experience for anyone. The time period after the bite is often quite painful. It is imperative that victims pay close attention to the wound in the days following the incident.

There is a chance that the bite wound will become infected. Some people mistakenly believe that a dog’s mouth is fairly clean. This isn’t at all the case. Dogs’ mouths are filled with bacteria that can lead to serious infections after a person gets bitten.

Risk of infection

When a dog bites someone, the teeth can penetrate the skin and underlying tissues. These puncture wounds provide a perfect dark, warm, and moist environment for the bacteria to breed and grow. This is what leads to infection.

The deep punctures often aren’t sutured because of the risk of bacteria being present in the wound. Suturing these could trap the harmful bacteria in and cause a nasty infection. Leaving the wound open also can be risky because external bacteria can be introduced to the wound site.

Signs of infection

The signs of an infected bite wound are the same as with many other infections. You may notice that the bite site is warmer than the surrounding area. It might appear red and swollen with pus and fluid draining from it.

In addition to the symptoms that occur at the site of the trauma, systemic symptoms might occur. Lethargy and fatigue are possible, as is a general feeling of being under the weather.

Prevention and treatment

When you seek medical care after a dog bite, the doctor will clean the wound thoroughly. This may be painful, but it is a critical step in preventing infection. By irrigating the wound, the bacteria can be flushed out. On top of this, you might be given antibiotics to help stave off an infection.

If you do end up with an infected bite wound, seeking medical care is necessary. Topical treatments, oral antibiotics and intravenous medications might all be prescribed. Infections that are left to fester too long might even require surgical intervention.

Victims of dog attacks have many things to worry about on top of infection. There could be a possibility of life-altering scarring and disfigurement from the bite. It’s also possible to contract rabies if the dog wasn’t properly vaccinated. All of these are reasons why some people who are bitten opt to pursue compensation from the dog’s owner.