Dog bites and Capnocytophaga infections

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Firm News

Man’s best friend, or so they say. Due to any number of factors, dogs kept as pets may bite their owners or others. In addition to the physical injuries such incidents often cause, people who suffer dog bites may also develop serious infections, such as those caused by the bacteria, Capnocytophaga.

Understanding what to expect from Capnocytophaga infections may help people receive the treatment they need without complication.

Signs and symptoms of infection

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who develop Capnocytophaga infections typically begin to experience symptoms within one to 14 days of when the dog bite occurred. Some of the most common signs of Capnocytophaga infections include the following:

  • Redness, swelling, pain or draining pus around the bite wound
  • Fever
  • Blisters appearing around the bite wound within hours of its occurrence
  • Headache or confusion
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain or vomiting
  • Muscle or joint pain

For most people who develop Capnocytophaga infections, the symptoms begin within three to five days of the bite.

Potential infection complications

Serious complications may result when people get Capnocytophaga infections from dog bites. Some people develop gangrene, which may require the amputation of affected fingers, toes or limbs. Heart attack and kidney failure also sometimes result from Capnocytophaga infections. Death occurs in approximately three in 10 patients who develop severe cases of this condition.

Treatment of the infection

According to the CDC, the medical treatment for Capnocytophaga infections generally involves taking antibiotic drugs. Depending on the type and severity of people’s conditions, they may require more than one antibiotic medication to kill off these bacterial germs and fight off their infections.

What seems a minor bite from Fido may send people’s lives down paths they never anticipated. However, the law provides avenues for them to seek damages for their injury-associated losses.