Countless individuals have a fear of dogs. While many canine companions seem happy-go-lucky, some aren’t as excitable or playful as others. A normally well-behaved dog can turn irritable and aggressive if they’re ill or feel threatened as well.
When many people think of dog bites, they envision the nibbles a puppy gives. Bites can be far more serious, though. They may cause not only permanent physical disfiguring but also nerve damage if the bite is deep enough. Some dogs also have a bacteria called capnocytophaga in their mouths. Your exposure to it could lead to the amputation of an affected limb.
What you should know about capnocytophaga
Just like humans, dogs have bacteria that accumulate in their mouths. Individuals gain exposure to capnocytophaga through their contact with a dog’s saliva. Some of the earliest symptoms that someone has come in contact with capnocytophaga includes:
- Blistering around the wound site that appears within hours of the bite incident
- Joint or muscle pain
- Stomach discomfort resulting in vomiting or diarrhea
- The wound starts draining, swells or redness occurs
While most patients’ symptoms will manifest themselves within three to five days after a bite, they can happen at different intervals depending on the patient. That’s why it’s always best to seek medical attention after suffering a bite so that the doctor can clean out your wound and prescribe you medication to stop any potential infection from spreading.
Patients that allow capnocytophaga to go untreated may experience cardiac arrest, kidney failure and gangrene. Doctors may determine that they need to amputate an affected patient’s toes, fingers or other limbs to slow the spread of this bacteria. Data shows that at least 30% of individuals who have close contact with this bacteria die. Some of these deaths may occur within 24 to 72 of the bite if they also become septic.
The expense of a dog bite — including preventative care to stop infections — is significant and costly. Make sure that you find out everything you need to know about how to claim compensation for your losses.