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What happens when a dog bite leads to sepsis?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Injuries, Personal Injury |

After a dog bite, most people worry about the initial injury. A dog’s mouth contains various types of harmful bacteria. When his teeth puncture your skin, the wound becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

According to WebMD, an infected wound may become septic in severe cases.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a response to infection. Your immune system releases chemicals into your blood, triggering inflammation. The inflammation and blood clotting may cause organ damage and reduce blood flow to the limbs and organs.

Bacterial infections are the most common cause of sepsis. However, it can also happen because of viruses, fungi and parasites. You may have a higher risk of sepsis if you are pregnant, older, had a recent hospitalization or have diabetes.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Sepsis may have various symptoms. One of the first signs of sepsis is confusion and rapid breathing. You may also experience fever, chills or a low body temperature. Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Blotchy and clammy skin
  • Severe pain
  • Nausea
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Inability to urinate as often

Physicians have to perform a physical exam and perform different imaging and blood tests to diagnose sepsis. Bacteria in your blood and other bodily fluids may indicate sepsis. Additionally, signs of infection may show up on CT scans, ultrasounds and x-rays.

To treat sepsis, you may require a stay in an intensive care unit. The medical team must stop the infection and manage blood pressure and organ function. Most physicians use broad-spectrum antibiotics to fight the bacteria. If your physician knows the bacteria causing your sepsis, he or she can use a targeted approach.

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