Suffering from a dog bite is a difficult and painful situation. But if the bite looks mild, you might feel tempted to just treat it at home and not go see a doctor. This often happens if you know the dog that bit you, so you do not fear risk of rabies.
But there is another potential risk you may face no matter how vaccinated your dog is. That is the risk of bacterial infection.
Signs of infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss Capnocytophaga infections and their signs. This infection often sets in quickly, but symptoms may appear anywhere from 1 to 14 days after the initial bite. In other words, you may think you are out of the woods, but in reality, the infection is only beginning to brew.
The most immediate signs often occur around the bite wound itself. For example, you may experience swelling or redness. The area could feel hot, tender or painful. It may also weep pus or excrete other liquid as the body tries to fight the bacteria off.
Other symptoms can occur within hours to days. They may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain. Headache and confusion are also common, along with a fever and body aches. Some people explain that it feels like a cold or the flu.
Potential serious repercussions
If left untreated, Capnocytophaga infections may progress into serious issues. They can result in failure of internal organs, high fever, gangrene and necrosis. This may lead to amputation. You could also suffer from the severe blood infection known as sepsis, which has a high fatality rate. To avoid these complications, it is best to get treatment from a medical professional from the onset.