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Why dog bites get infected

Even a dog bite that does not get infected can be incredibly painful. It may need immediate medical attention. It could lead to a disability or a disfigurement.

When bites do get infected, though, everything just gets worse. Some infections are life-threatening. A seemingly minor bite could put you in the hospital with serious issues -- including a lot of pain and suffering -- in the days and weeks to come. Why does this happen?

Often, it just means that the wound was not washed out properly. Bacteria entered the wound at the time of the bite, as the skin -- your main protective barrier against bacteria -- was broken. A dog's mouth can carry a lot of bacteria, and you also have potential risks from other outside sources -- dirt, mud, clothes, your own skin, etc. This bacteria leads to the infection, which may then wind up spreading through your body.

In some ways, this is why deep puncture wounds are the worst you can suffer. They may not look as bad from the outside as a gash or a rip, but they trap bacteria deep within the tissue. They may also bleed less, meaning the blood cannot naturally cleanse the area. Puncture wounds are more likely to get infected and need deeper cleaning to prevent it.

If you do get bitten by a dog, and it gets infected, despite your best efforts, it can be very frightening. You may need expensive medical care, and you may have lingering issues. Make sure you know who was responsible and how to seek compensation for those costs.

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