Suffering a dog bite can be a traumatic experience, not only physically but also emotionally. The aftermath of these attacks often brings a whirlwind of concerns, and one of the primary worries is the risk of infection.
Infections can arise due to various bacteria present in the dog’s mouth, which are passed into the victim’s bloodstream via the bite. It’s important to recognize these signs early to prevent potentially life-threatening complications. If you notice any of the following symptoms after the attack, your dog bite may be infected.
#1: Redness and Inflammation
One of the first signs of an infected dog bite is redness and inflammation around the wound. This occurs as the body’s immune system responds to the bacteria introduced by the bite. The area may become swollen, red, and feel tender to the touch. Inflammation is a natural response to injury, but when it persists or worsens, it could indicate an infection that needs medical attention.
#2: Visible Pus from the Wound
The presence of pus is a clear indicator of infection. Pus is a thick, yellowish or greenish fluid composed of dead white blood cells, bacteria, and tissue debris. It’s the result of the body’s attempt to fight the infection. If you notice pus oozing from the bite wound, you are likely suffering from an infection.
#3: Heat Radiating from the Wound
An infected dog bite may feel warm or even hot to the touch. This heat is generated by increased blood flow to the area as the body sends more white blood cells to combat the infection. The warmth is often localized around the wound but can spread as the infection progresses.
#4: Red Streaks That Lead Away from the Wound
Red streaks extending from the wound signify a severe infection that may be spreading through the lymphatic system. This is a symptom of lymphangitis, which can lead to blood poisoning if left untreated. The streaks are a result of inflammation in the lymph vessels; if you notice these marks after the bite, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
#5: Continued Bleeding After the Attack
While some bleeding is normal immediately after a bite, continuous bleeding could signal a deeper problem. An infected wound may fail to heal properly, leading to prolonged bleeding. Additionally, the presence of infection can interfere with the blood’s ability to clot, prolonging the bleeding duration.
What to Do If You Believe That Your Dog Bite Is Infected
If you notice any of these signs or unusual symptoms like fever, chills, and excessive sweating, it’s vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can assess the wound, prescribe antibiotics if necessary, and provide guidance on treatment. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications, including the spread of infection to other parts of the body.
In addition to medical care, it’s also advisable to contact a Seattle dog bite attorney, especially if the bite was caused by someone else’s pet. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and related expenses.
Remember, taking prompt action is key to protecting your health and your best interests. After going to the doctor for your dog bite, contact a lawyer to learn more about your legal options and initiate your claim.