Potential Dog Bite Complications
Many dog bites are minor and can heal quickly, leaving behind only a faint scar. Other dog bites
can cause serious complications that permanently impair a person’s life.
As leading Wilmington dog bite attorneys, we help injured victims get compensation after a
devastating attack. We understand the severe complications that can result.
Many bacteria grow in a dog’s mouth, and when you are bitten, the bacteria can transfer to your
bloodstream. Some of the more common bacteria include:
● Pasteurella multocida, which lives naturally in the mouths of dogs. You can develop
redness and other complications, such as pneumonia.
● Staphylococcal bacteria, which can lead to dangerous staph infections. Some people
develop abscesses which might go all the way down to the bone or get into the
● Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which can lead to blood poisoning. Around a third who
develop this infection will die from it.
Victims need to clean their wounds promptly with soap and warm water. You will probably need
antibiotics to treat the infection, but some bacteria have developed resistance to certain
antibiotics, so treating the infection can be a challenge.
This is an infection that deserves specific mention. Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the
central nervous system, leading to disease in the brain. If a person does not receive immediate
treatment, then death is usually inevitable once symptoms begin to manifest. You should see
your doctor to discuss whether you should start the rabies vaccine. The dog that bit you might
need to be put under surveillance to see if it develops rabies.
A dog’s powerful bite can permanently damage nerves in your body. As a result, you can feel
chronic pain. If the nerve dies, you might be unable to move your affected limb as you once did.
Not all nerve damage is permanent, and immediate medical intervention is often critical. If a
doctor can remove pressure from a nerve, then it might not die. You might also need
rehabilitation to learn how to perform old tasks in new ways now that you are permanently
Some of the worst injuries happen when a dog mauls a person’s face. The attack can require
extensive reconstruction surgery to repair the damage. Unfortunately, plastic surgery can only do so much, and many victims will live permanently with highly visible disfigurement, which can cause intense emotional distress. Everyone heals differently, and some people will have permanent, thick scars which can cause embarrassment and other trauma.
Some victims repeatedly relive the horrifying attack, which can cause sleeplessness, anxiety,
depression, or stress. This is particularly true when children are attacked by a dog. To treat
emotional trauma, many victims need prescription drugs to get symptoms under control and may
also require extensive counseling.
Dog bites are serious injuries that warrant close medical monitoring. If you have suffered a dog
bite, you should probably go to the doctor. Then you should meet with an experienced attorney
who can discuss whether you have a valid claim for compensation.
Contact Hodges Coxe & Potter today. We offer a free initial consultation, which you can
schedule by calling 910-772-1678.