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What is a capnocytophaga infection?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2022 | Animal Bites

After suffering from a dog bite, it is important to get immediate medical attention. Some people may feel it is not necessary because the bite does not look “that bad”, but they may find themselves unpleasantly surprised in a few days when an infection blooms.

Capnocytophaga infections serve as one of the most common in the aftermath of dog bite attacks. But exactly how does this infection manifest?

Early signs of infection

The CDC discusses capnocytophaga infections. These infections occur due to the bacteria of the same name that commonly lives within the mouths of dogs. After biting a human, their teeth can inject the bacteria-filled saliva below the surface of the skin and even into the fatty tissue or bloodstream if the bite wound goes deep enough.

Those infected with this bacteria will often suffer from redness, swelling, tenderness and pain within the area of the bite within just a few hours or days at most. The area may also secrete pus or other fluids. The slightly delayed onset some experience may have them falsely believing they have cleaned their wound well enough.

Infection after progression

If allowed to progress, this infection can result in flu-like symptoms that can vary in intensity and worsen over time. This includes fevers, chill, sweating, nausea or diarrhea, and aches all over the body.

After this point, if still left untreated, this infection can cause serious damage to the internal organs, especially the liver and kidney. It can even lead to heart stress that can cause a heart attack and may cause more serious infections like sepsis, an infection of the blood with a high fatality rate.

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