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What are some infections people can get from dog bites?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Dog bites often cause serious injuries that need immediate attention. While dogs are typically friendly companions, their bites can sometimes lead to injuries, including wounds, scarring, and infections.

Knowing about these potential infections is important for anyone who spends time around dogs.


Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the central nervous system. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. Dogs with rabies can pass the virus through their saliva when they bite someone.

Early symptoms of rabies in humans include fever, headache, and general weakness. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, and partial paralysis.

Capnocytophaga infection

Capnocytophaga is a type of bacteria commonly found in the mouths of dogs. While not all dog bites lead to this infection, it can be severe for people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of Capnocytophaga include redness, swelling, pain around the bite, fever, and muscle aches. Severe cases can lead to complications such as sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition.

Pasteurella infection

Pasteurella is another common bacteria found in dog bites. Infections from Pasteurella can cause redness, swelling, and pain near the bite.

In some cases, the infection can spread to nearby joints and bones, leading to arthritis. People with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for this infection.


Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that affects the nervous system. It can occur if a dog bite punctures the skin deeply enough to allow tetanus bacteria to enter. Symptoms of tetanus include muscle stiffness and spasms, difficulty swallowing, and severe muscle contractions.

Recognizing the symptoms and looking for medical help are steps anyone feeling anxious about a bite may want to do. People struggling with dog bite injuries, including wounds, scarring, and infections are entitled to seek fair compensation under the law.