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How can dog bites pass on infections?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | PERSONAL INJURY - Personal Injury

Dog bites are not just painful. They can also lead to serious infections if not treated promptly.

Understanding the origin and signs of these infections is important for people dealing with health complications after a dog bite incident.

Broken skin and bacteria

When a dog bites, its teeth can break the skin and introduce bacteria to the person. This bite can include common culprits like Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. It may even include other harmful bacteria like Pasteurella, Capnocytophaga and MRSA.

Unlike a person’s mouth, which has natural defenses against bacteria, a dog’s mouth does not have the same protective mechanisms. This means when a dog bites, it can transfer these bacteria directly into the bloodstream, greatly increasing the risk of infection.

Health problems

Various signs of infection can result from a dog bite. Common bacterial skin infections may cause redness, swelling and warmth around the bite area.

Some other infections can lead to painful, swollen joints and difficulty moving. In severe cases, dog bites can even cause sepsis. This is a life-threatening condition where the body’s response to infection damages its own tissues and organs.


If an infection develops, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the bacteria. In severe cases, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics could happen as well. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics to ensure the infection clears completely.

While dogs are often considered man’s best friend, even the most well-behaved dog can bite. Those facing dog bites and personal injuries may want to seek fair compensation.