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Bacteria and Other Reasons To Seek Prompt Treatment After a Dog Bite

Dog bite infections are common. When an animal attacks, the potential transfer of pathogens is not something you should ignore. Receiving prompt treatment allows your physician to administer the appropriate antibiotics and antiviral medications to protect your health. It also creates a record your dog bite attorney in Texas can present to the court.

Bites and Bacteria

Roughly 4.5 million people suffer a dog bite each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children are at the greatest risk, and nearly half of all dog bites are unprovoked. When an individual is bitten, the transfer of bacteria into the victim's bloodstream is almost guaranteed. The longer the bite and the deeper the wound, the more likely the victim will suffer a significant exposure.

When an individual is bitten, the transfer of Pasteurella Multocida and/or Pasteurella Canis is common. These gram-negative bacteria are penicillin-sensitive, which is why most victims will receive a course of penicillin to clear up the infection.

Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive bacteria that is often transferred. While most staphylococcus infections can be treated with penicillin, some have developed resistance. If the individual is infected with a drug-resistant strain, heavier doses of stronger antibiotics may be required.

Many dog bites also transfer Capnocytophaga Canimorsus. These gram-negative bacteria are found in the gingival tissue of around 75% of all canines. Effective treatment usually requires the administration of beta-lactamase inhibitors which is why penicillin G is usually the medication administered.

Remember, Rabies Is Rare

One of the first concerns of everyone who suffers a dog bite is almost always, "Oh my gosh! I have rabies!" The good news is that rabies is exceedingly rare in Texas. Moreover, most cases involve bats and skunks, not dogs or cats.

In 2019, 565 animals out of the 11,397 tested in Texas tested positive for rabies. Of these, only six were dogs, and 16 were cats. This means that less than 1 in every 100 rabies-positive animals was a dog. Nationwide, only one to three people per year in the United States contract rabies. By comparison, about 50 people in the United States are killed by lighting every year, according to the National Weather Service.

We invite you to contact Welmaker Personal Injury Law for more information about our services. When you need a dog bite attorney in Texas, it's our pleasure to help you pursue your claim for compensation.