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What are some infections you can get from a dog bite?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Dog Bites

A friendly dog can turn into a potential health hazard when a bite leads to unexpected complications. Beyond the immediate pain, there is a real risk of problems that can escalate if not treated promptly.

Certain infections can result from a dog bite, highlighting the importance of awareness.

Bacterial issues

Dog bites make up somewhere between 60% and 90% of the animal bites people face in America. One of the primary concerns following a dog bite is the possibility of bacterial infections. The canine mouth is home to different bacteria, some of which can be harmful to humans.

Pasturella is a common culprit, often causing redness, swelling and discharge at the bite area. Antibiotics can prevent the spread of infection throughout the body.


Cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, can happen if bacteria enter the skin’s deeper layers through a dog bite wound. Symptoms include redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area. If left untreated, cellulitis can lead to serious complications such as abscess formation.


While relatively rare, the risk of rabies transmission exists following a dog bite. Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Immediate medical attention is important if there is any suspicion of rabies exposure.


Tetanus is a potential complication of dog bites, particularly if the wound is deep or contaminated with dirt or saliva. This infection can lead to muscle stiffness and spasms.

Dog bites may seem like a normal part of life at first. However, seeking prompt treatment can help with a smooth recovery from what might initially appear to be a minor incident with a furry companion.