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What kinds of infections happen due to dog bites?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Dog Bites

Dog bites, though often seen as accidents or isolated incidents, can lead to serious health complications. Beyond the immediate physical damage, infections pose a significant threat to individuals who have experienced a dog bite.

People should explore the various kinds of infections that can result from these incidents.

Bacterial infections

One of the most common consequences of a dog bite is a bacterial infection. Dogs’ mouths harbor numerous bacteria, including species like Pasteurella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.

When a dog bite breaks the skin, these bacteria can enter the wound, leading to localized infections that may cause swelling and pain. If left untreated, these infections can spread to other parts of the body, potentially causing more severe health issues.


Cellulitis is a type of bacterial skin infection that can result from dog bites. This infection affects the skin’s deeper layers. Cellulitis requires prompt medical attention, as it can spread rapidly and may lead to complications.


In some cases, the introduction of bacteria through a dog bite can result in septicemia, a life-threatening condition characterized by the rapid spread of bacteria throughout the bloodstream.

Symptoms include fever, chills, rapid heart rate and confusion. Immediate medical intervention is important to prevent any escalation, as it can lead to organ failure and death.


While relatively rare, rabies is a serious viral infection that can come from a dog bite. Rabies affects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Timely administration of certain drugs is important to prevent the onset of rabies after a dog bite.

In American households with pets, 49% of those have a dog in them as of 2021. It is important to seek medical attention promptly to address any wounds and complications. Understanding the various infections that can result from dog bites empowers individuals to make wise decisions regarding their health.