Any animal attack or bite can be cause for concern, and victims should immediately seek medical attention. Seeing a doctor is crucial, even if you do not notice any serious bleeding or lacerations because animals can transmit severe diseases to humans.
Dogs are no different. When they attack a human, they can pass on many diseases.
Diseases resulting from a bite
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are multiple diseases that can harm humans after a dog bite or attack:
- Rabies – Rabies is perhaps the disease people most often associate with animal bites. If a dog has rabies and bites someone, the victim can experience behavioral changes, anxiety, confusion and other severe reactions.
- Capnocytophaga – This bacterial disease does not adversely affect the dogs or cats that have the bacteria in their mouths. However, it can make people sick when a dog bites or scratches them. In some cases, particularly when the victim has a compromised immune system, the bacteria can cause severe infections and even gangrene.
- Pasteurellosis – Pasteurellosis is another bacterial disease that dogs can transmit through bites. An infected person could experience painful infections on their skin, as well as a more widespread infection affecting his or her nervous system.
- Plague – Dogs infected with this bacterial disease can pass it on to humans during an attack if the person comes into contact with the animal’s blood or other body fluids. Symptoms of the various forms of this disease include headaches, fever, swollen lymph nodes, tissue death and pneumonia.
There are also many other diseases that can infect people exposed to a dog’s contaminated food, water or waste products.
While every dog bite or attack will not result in life-threatening illness, the fact is that dog bites can transmit harmful germs in addition to causing deep cuts, nerve damage and broken bones.
As such, dog bite victims should take every incident seriously and see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not immediately see blood or experience pain.