A dog’s mouth is not the cleanest place, and many different types of bacteria call it home. Unfortunately, this means any number of said bacteria could end up transferred to your wound if a dog bites you.
Capnocytophaga is just one type of bacteria. This alone can result in a terrible infection. Knowing the potential signs could help you get the medical attention you need.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examine signs that could indicate a capnocytophaga infection following a dog bite. First, note that the time in which symptoms appear can range from hours all the way up to two weeks. The average time it takes is a few days, however.
At first, you will see signs near the site of injury itself. This includes redness, swelling, streaking and leaking pus or fluids. You may also notice it feels hot to the touch and can hurt when you press on it.
Next, symptoms may begin to mimic that of a flu. You could feel feverish or chilly. You may feel dizzy and nauseous, or experience other digestive issues such as diarrhea. Many victims experience soreness and aching in the muscles and joints as the body starts to inflame.
If you ignore these symptoms, they may worsen. If left unchecked, infection can put enough strain on organs to cause them to fail. You may experience stress-related heart attacks or gangrene and necrosis around the bite. This can even lead to sepsis, a potentially lethal blood infection that can kill in less than 72 hours.
This is why it is important to seek medical care after a bite, no matter how serious it seems.