Beebe and O'Neil

What health issues can Pasteurella cause?

Connecticut animal lovers such as yourself have likely been bitten or scratched by animals before. It can happen even when animals are just playing around, but the lack of malicious intent doesn’t mean you’re safe from the potential negative repercussions of a wound.

Pasteurella is a type of bacteria found in the mouths of animals that can cause infection in the humans who might be bitten by them. The type of microbes present depend on what animal the bite came from, so that is helpful information to take to the doctor. Pasteurella-related infections are the most common when they come from cats or dogs. Typically speaking, there is a lot of soft-tissue inflammation that turns the skin red, swollen and sore. Generally, this is surface soft tissues such as the outermost layers of the skin.

However, this is considered potentially dangerous due to the fact that the infection can also spread to deeper soft tissues. When this occurs, there can be problems like septic arthritis, osteomyelitis or tenosynovitis. Sometimes meningitis or endocarditis may also occur, which are both potentially very severe if not treated properly. Pasteurella bacteria is sensitive enough to be treated with penicillin with high success rates, so the sooner it’s treated, the better the outlook is.

This is considered a somewhat common bite-related infection, though it is not the most severe issue that can occur after being bitten. If you have been bitten or scratched by any animal including your own, you should seek a doctor for counsel immediately, especially if the wound shows signs of infection.

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