Your neighbor has a new puppy that’s good at slipping its leash or squeezing through a gate, and you got nipped. Since it was just a little nick from a canine tooth, you didn’t think you were really hurt – and you weren’t worried about any problems.
Now, however, you’re not so sure that you’re alright. The puppy’s tooth did break the skin, and you’re concerned that you have an infection.
Do you have a reason to be worried?
You should be concerned. You may have heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, but that’s not actually true. Dogs carry more than 600 kinds of bacteria in their mouths, and even a dog that’s had all its shots can transfer potentially deadly organisms, like E. coli and staph infections, through a bite.
Generally, the deeper the bite, the more you have to worry, but any bite that breaks your skin can get infected.
What are the signs that a bite has become infected?
If you’re concerned, the first thing you should do is see a medical professional about the bite to see if you need antibiotics or other treatment. That being said, watch out for:
- Drainage, pus or any kind of fluid coming from the wound
- Unusual tenderness or pain that crops up after you start to heal
- Numbness or stiffness around the bite itself
- Fevers, chills or night sweats
- Red streaks in your skin near the bite
- Breathing problems or swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle weakness and tremors
Finally, if your wound smells foul or you simply feel “off,” it’s better to be safe and get checked out by a doctor.
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, it can end up costing you quite a bit in medical bills and lost wages. Make sure you understand what it takes to get what you’re due in fair compensation.