Aside from serious puncture wound injuries, individuals who have been bitten by dogs are also at high risk of suffering serious diseases that can be fatal. According to the U.S. CDC, nearly 1 out of 5 in the approximately 4.5 million dog bite victims every year becomes infected.
Although rare in the U.S., one of the serious diseases that may affect dog bite victims is rabies. People may die from dog bite injuries if the dog’s saliva is infected by rabies virus. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, when a person is bitten by a rabid dog, they may experience symptoms like fever, nausea, headache, and confusion. Persons who have been infected by rabies may get scared in the presence of water as they experience swallowing difficulty. Another bacteria from the dog’s saliva that can cause illnesses is Capnocytophaga spp. The bacteria that can also be found in the mouth of other animals including human can be transmitted to other persons not only through a bite but also through close contact and scratches. Individuals are at risk of suffering illnesses from Capnocytophaga ssp. if their immune system is weak. Dog bite victims might be infected by pasteurella bacteria when the bite area becomes extremely painful. Typical symptoms of pasteurella infection are swelling in the joints, swollen glands and mobility problems.
Other dog bite victims may suffer rigid paralysis if they have been infected by Clostridium tetani bacteria or commonly known as tetanus. Oftentimes individuals are infected by tetanus bacteria after sustaining deep dog bite wounds. Individuals who have been bitten by dogs are advised to seek medical treatment to possibly prevent serious infections. The CDC strongly advises dog bite victims to immediately see their healthcare provider if they are unfamiliar with the dog that attacked them or their wounds become extremely painful and swollen.