It can happen in an instant.
You are walking through your neighborhood, enjoying the weather when out of nowhere, your neighbor’s new dog pops up and bites you for walking in what he believes is his territory.
This isn’t something that just happens to the mail person, and it’s not a small matter.
Dog bites can cause serious injuries and have lasting effects like infection and scarring.
In this article, we’ll explore getting cellulitis from a dog bite, whether it’s possible, and what you should do if you suspect that a dog bite has turned into something more serious.
What is Cellulitis?
Before we go any further, let’s define what cellulitis is, and in what situations it can occur.
When you get cut and your skin breaks, this leaves the opportunity for bad bacteria to enter the wound.
If this bacteria enters your wound, it can cause an infection deep within your skin.
While this usually happens in cases like cuts or other open wounds, cellulitis can still occur with normal skin and around the eyes, mouth, and anus.
Bacteria that are likely to cause this condition are Strep and Staph bacteria, more specifically Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and hemolytic streptococcus.
So the question that comes to mind is, are these bacteria in a dog’s mouth?
Can You Get an Infection From a Dog Bite?
Because a dog bite is a piercing injury that breaks the skin, there is always the risk that infection may occur.
Dogs have what are called Capnocytophaga germs in their mouth. These germs are also found in humans but can cause major issues in people with autoimmune diseases, cancer, people who drink alcohol excessively, or those who have had their spleens removed.
Even if you don’t fit into one of these categories, infections can still occur.
There are over 600 types of bacteria in a dog’s mouth, most of which are harmless, but others may not be.
And even if the dog bite itself doesn’t cause an infection, not properly treating your wound can lead to infection later on.
Diagnosis of Cellulitis From a Dog Bite, and Treatment
It is important that you consult a doctor after a dog bite injury has occurred.
Not only will this help you get the medical treatment you need, but it will also help if you decide to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner. We will talk more about dog bite lawsuits later in this article.
You may have a more serious case of cellulitis from the dog bite if you are shaking, have chills, you are fatigued, dizzy, lightheaded, or you have muscle aches. You may also experience warm skin and sweating.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose you by looking at the bite site as well as your symptoms, but they will likely also take blood and skin samples to see what types of bacteria are causing your infection.
Once you have a proper diagnosis, you may get treatments such as antibiotics, both topical and internal. Pain medications may also be given to help you cope with the pain of the infection.
In more serious cases, the skin may be too damaged and require surgery or amputation of the impacted area.
What Does Cellulitis Look Like?
There are several signs that cellulitis from a dog bite may be present in your wound.
Along with the symptoms described above, the wound site may have redness around the wound area.
There may also be swelling, bruising, or blisters.
Since cellulitis can look many different ways, it’s best to take a look at various images for reference and refer to your doctor for a diagnosis.
We are not medical doctors and we cannot make a diagnosis for you, nor can you make one from images on the internet. However, they can give you an idea of what may be going on.
Other Dangerous Infections And Diseases You Can Get From Dog Bites
No matter what the wound looks like or what your symptoms are, it’s still important to seek medical attention after a dog bite incident occurs.
Other infections and diseases may include:
These and other infections and diseases require medical attention to make sure you are properly diagnosed and taken care of.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
While it is important to seek medical attention after a dog bite for your well-being, it is also important for your potential dog bite lawsuit.
Getting the incident and your injuries documented is vital to your claim, and if you don’t seek medical attention immediately it can be argued that your injuries weren’t that bad since you didn’t seek help.
In many states, dog owners are liable for their dog’s actions, whether or not they played a direct part in the incident or not, and whether or not the dog has a history of biting. This is a legal doctrine known as strict liability.
When you are filing a claim, you are usually not doing it to punish the dog owner. The injury is going to cost you time and money in medical bills and visits, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Your quality of life may be affected by not being able to utilize an arm or a leg as well as before, or even getting PTSD when around other animals.
Laws are there to help you out by protecting you and providing possible financial compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and inconveniences.
VanDerGinst Law is Here to Help
Besides infections, another major concern that many people have after receiving a dog bite is how they would afford a lawyer to pursue a claim.
The good news is that most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning the law firm gets paid only if they get compensation on your behalf.
At VanDerGinst Law, we take this a step further and front all of the costs to pursue and investigate your dog bite claim, meaning you don’t pay a dime out of pocket, and we still only get paid if we get compensation for you.
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The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.