Dog bites can become infected easily, even if the wounds do not look that bad on the surface. Once a dog bite becomes infected, the situation becomes serious and requires immediate medical care. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, keep on the lookout for these five infection symptoms.

1. Red Streak(s) That Lead Away From The Wound

If you notice one or more red streaks leading away from the wound that seem to get longer or larger over a period of several hours, call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately. Red streaks are an indicator of blood poisoning, meaning that the infection is systemic and needs strong antibiotics right away.

2. Increasing Inflammation & Redness

A dog bite wound that is infected will continue to have increasing inflammation and redness, whereas a bite wound that is healing properly will typically decrease in redness and swelling over time. In the first few days after a dog bite, if you are unable to get the swelling or redness to subside even after following your physician’s instructions, contact your physician again for another evaluation.

3. Fever, Chills & Flu-Like Symptoms

Both systemic infections and rabies have similar flu-like symptoms that can include fever, chills and nausea. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms similar to a flu or other virus after being bitten by a dog, visit your doctor or local emergency room promptly.

4. Visible Pus & Heat Radiating From the Wound

A dog bite that visibly oozes pus or feels hot to the touch is one of the more obvious signs that the wound is infected. In a case like this, the doctor may need to clean and debride the wound, or prescribe a round of antibiotics. In rare cases, the patient may need to be hospitalized for observation and to ensure that the infection is controlled.

5. Continued Bleeding

While continued bleeding isn’t necessarily a sign of infection, per se, it is a medical concern that needs to be evaluated promptly. The bite could be infected, or it could just not be closed or healing properly. If the bite wound continues to bleed, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to get the bleeding under control.

When to Consult a Philadelphia Dog Bite Attorney

If you’ve been bitten by another person’s dog, Pennsylvania law may allow you to seek compensation from the owner of that dog for damages resulting from the bite. This can include lost wages due to time out of work, medical bills, and pain and suffering. A Philadelphia dog bite attorney can work with you to determine the best course of action to get the compensation you or your loved one deserves after being attacked by a dog.

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