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On Behalf of | May 29, 2023

What infections can you get from a dog bite?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Personal Injury

A dog’s bite can result in more than just a physical wound. While dogs are often seen as man’s best friend, their mouths carry numerous bacteria which, when transmitted through a bite, can lead to various infections. Some of these infections can cause serious complications if they are not addressed promptly and correctly.

Even when a dog bite appears minor, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Here are some infections that could happen because of a dog bite.

Bacterial infections

Dog bites can transmit numerous types of bacteria. One of the most common is Pasteurella, which often causes redness and swelling around the wound site. Symptoms can appear within hours of the bite and can sometimes lead to more serious complications, especially in people with weakened immune systems.

Another type of bacteria that dog bites can transmit is Capnocytophaga. Although it is less common, it can cause serious illness if it spreads to the bloodstream, including sepsis, which can be life-threatening.


While bacterial infections are most common with dog bites, there is also the risk of viral infections such as rabies. Rabies is a life-threatening disease that can cause severe neurological symptoms. Rabies is relatively rare in domestic dogs in countries with routine pet vaccination, but it can still be a risk with bites from stray or unvaccinated dogs.


Tetanus is another infection that can occur from a dog bite, particularly if the wound is deep and the individual is not up-to-date with their tetanus immunizations. Tetanus bacteria thrive in low-oxygen environments such as deep wounds. It can lead to serious health complications, including muscle stiffness and spasms.

Seek medical help

Regardless of the perceived severity of a dog bite, always seek medical help. A healthcare professional will clean the wound and assess the risk of infection. They may also prescribe antibiotics as a preventative measure, particularly if the bite is deep or the individual has a compromised immune system.

If a dog bites you, it is important to seek medical attention promptly to minimize the risks. Taking these precautions helps to ensure a swift and uncomplicated recovery from the injury.

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