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Why are dog bites more likely to get infected?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Personal Injury |

If someone gets bitten by a dog, it’s important for them to look for signs of infection. This could include increased pain, pus at the injury site, the outbreak of a fever and much more. An infection can often be much more dangerous than the initial bite, and can even sometimes have fatal complications.

The reason that dog bites are more likely to get infected when compared to other kinds of injuries, is largely because they are puncture wounds. This means that they are very deep and they may not bleed as much as surface wounds. Both the depth and the lack of bleeding mean that bacteria and other debris can become trapped in the puncture wound as it tries to heal. If it’s not cleaned out and treated properly, an infection could set in.

Of course, infections are also possible with surface wounds, but they are just less likely. Bleeding provides a natural cleaning process for the body, and it is far easier for the injured person to clean the wound effectively.

The bacteria in the dog’s mouth

A related issue is simply that a dog bite may naturally be dirtier than other types of injuries. There could be bacteria in the dog’s mouth and on its teeth. These are risks that people don’t face if they suffer a different type of injury, such as a laceration from a power tool. Because the dog’s mouth is not sterile, a person who gets bitten is exposed to numerous contaminants, some of which could even be microscopic.

If an infection does occur, it may require extensive medical intervention. Those who have been injured due to the negligence of a dog’s owner need to know how to seek compensation.