There have been more than 60 types of bacteria that could potentially be in a dog’s mouth. This is why almost 20 percent of dog bite victims develop infections. The more common infections include:
- Capnocytophaga: Although many people who are exposed to this bacteria do not become sick, victims who have weakened immune systems are in danger of serious – if not fatal – infections.
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus): This staph infection can be resistant to certain antibiotics and can cause lung, skin, and urinary tract infections. If this bacteria enters the bloodstream or the lungs, it can be fatal for the victim
- Pasteurella: These bacteria show up in more than half of infected dog bites. Symptoms of this infection include pain and redness in the bite area, swelling of joints, swollen glands, and difficulty moving.
- Rabies: Rabies affects the victim’s brain and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.
- Tetanus: This bacteria causes a rigid paralysis in the victim.