In the past two years, two internists from Meander Medical Center (Meander MC) have lost two patients to septic shock after a dog bite. A third ended up in intensive care and lost several fingers but survived. Internal medicine and intensive care therapist Laura van Havten and internist at training Karleen Rotten warn people of the potentially fatal consequences of a dog bite. This was reported by Meander MC.
One of the causes of death after a dog bite is Capnocytophaga canimorsis. This bacteria is found in the mouths of about 20% of dogs. Failure to treat or late treatment of the bite of such a dog can lead to serious consequences for humans, who can become seriously ill in a short time.
The incubation period ranges from one to six days, but due to the difficulty of culturing the bacteria, it is difficult to prove contamination. That is why it is so important to make a timely diagnosis. “People who come to the doctor or to our emergency department don’t always say they were bitten by a dog. Sometimes they only have a small injury to the bite, so that the infection is not linked. Also, there are not always signs of infection at the site of the bite,” he explains. Van Haven. But this does not mean that someone is not infected. Such infections can lead to sepsis: the body’s inflammatory response to an infection so severe that tissues are damaged and organs fail. This is why a quick diagnosis is so important and antibiotics should be started as soon as possible. Bacteria are very sensitive to this, says Van Hafen.
The risk of serious complications from Capnocytophaga canimorsis is especially high for people with immune disorders or those who take anti-inflammatory medications. Intensive therapists’ advice is to always make an appointment with a doctor after a dog bite, so he can prescribe antibiotics.
By: National Care Guide
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