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Did you know that it’s possible to lose your fingers, a hand, an arm or a leg because of a simple dog bite? When people talk about dogs having cleaner mouths than their own, that’s not true, and failing to get medical treatment for bites could end up leading to an amputation. 

Blood infections caused by animal bites can cause sepsis. In worst-case scenarios, blood clots and other issues can lead to muscles and tissues dying from a lack of oxygen. 

Getting treatment early can help save your limbs

Though there are many different bacteria that can cause infections, Capnocytophaga canimorsus is one to watch out for. This is the best-known bacterium found in dogs’ mouths, and it has the potential to cause severe infections in people. It can lead to:

  • Sepsis
  • Bacteremia
  • Gangrene
  • Meningitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Endophthalmitis

Just this single form of bacteria has the potential to cause a life-threatening illness, and it’s just one of many found in a dog’s mouth. That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment right away if you’ve been bitten. Even a shallow wound may become infected and cause serious injuries as a result.

What should you do if you’re bitten by a dog?

If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to go to seek medical attention as soon as you can. It’s best to have the wound cleaned out by a medical provider and to start antibiotics when needed, so you can avoid having an infection spread and become serious. 

If you do develop serious injuries from sepsis or meningitis that are related to a dog bite, remember that the owner of that dog may be held liable.