If you get bitten by a dog, there could be serious ramifications right away. Some people have to deal with serious blood loss or the potential for scarring, especially if they get bitten in the face or somewhere else that’s going to be visible. A bite can certainly become serious instantly.
However, many bites get more serious with time, as they become infected. This is when a superficial wound could be potentially fatal or you may need serious medical intervention to care for the infection. It’s very important to watch for potential signs, such as swelling or redness, so that you know when to do this.
But why do dog bites get infected? The problem is that they tend to be puncture wounds.
The difference with a puncture wound
A puncture wound is so much different than an open wound for a few reasons. The first is that it tends not to bleed as much. While you don’t want excessive bleeding, some bleeding does help to actually clean the wound. If your body can’t do that because the puncture wound has closed back over, then it may not be as clean as it would be otherwise.
Similarly, it’s much harder to clean out a puncture wound yourself. You could run water over it, as you would with a open cut, but there’s no guarantee that you’ve actually cleaned it thoroughly. Many people think that the bite isn’t serious because they washed it off and it stopped bleeding, but the truth is that the most serious part is still to come.
After all, a dog’s mouth could contain quite a lot of bacteria. When you suffer a puncture wound, the teeth and saliva push that bacteria deep under your skin. You need to get this cleaned out to prevent the infection, but, as noted above, this can be incredibly difficult to do. That is why it is more likely that a dog bite is going to become infected than some other kind of wound.
What should you do if this does happen?
If you do get bitten by a dog and it does get infected, start by seeking medical treatment. You need to talk to doctors and make sure that things aren’t going to get worse or potentially become fatal. After that, then you can start looking into your rights to seek financial compensation from the dog’s owner or the party who is responsible for the attack.