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You may have heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. That probably depends on the human. The truth is that a dog’s mouth is nowhere near clean; more than 130 species of disease-causing microbes have been isolated from dog saliva. The most common is Pasteurella.

Pasteurella naturally lives in the mouths of household pets including dogs, cats, and rabbits. When the animal bites a person, the bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection called pasteurellosis.

The first signs of pasteurellosis can occur as early as two to twelve hours after the bite. Symptoms of pasteurellosis include pain, reddening, and swelling of the area around the bite. The infection can spread quickly, so it is important that you see a doctor if you notice any signs of pasteurellosis.

Pasteurellosis in the hands is especially dangerous because it can affect the tendons and bones. When this happens, there is a high risk of permanent damage.

Pasteurella can also cause a disease called cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of cells just below the skin. The infection begins as a small area of tenderness, redness, and swelling. The area may feel warm to the touch. As the infection spreads, the bite victim will develop a fever and swollen lymph nodes. It is important that victims get quick medical treatment. Without treatment, cellulitis can enter the blood stream and cause permanent damage to the lymphatic system.

Both pasteurellosis and cellulitis are treated with oral antibiotics.

The Wausau dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham help Wisconsin dog bite victims get fair compensation for all their dog bite injuries, including infections and post-traumatic stress. To discuss your Wisconsin dog bite case, contact us at 800-800-5678. The initial consultation is free.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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