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What is blood poisoning, and how can a Wisconsin dog bite cause blood poisoning?

Blood poisoning is another word for bacteremia, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that results from the presence of bacteria in the blood. It is a serious illness that can result in organ failure and even death.

Untreated bacteremia can lead to sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the immune system overreacts and has an inflammatory response to an infection. The inflammation causes microscopic clots to form in the blood. These clots can prevent blood from reaching essential organs, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, or brain. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. If sepsis is allowed to progress, a patient’s blood pressure will drop causing, “septic shock.” Septic shock can lead to multiple organ failure, and even death.

Blood poisoning can easily follow after a Wisconsin dog bite injury. Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s mouth is not cleaner than a human mouth. A healthy dog’s mouth contains more than 600 species of bacteria. When a dog bites a person, those bacteria are transferred through the bite into the bite victim’s blood stream. The blood can spread the infection throughout the body. 

Sepsis from a dog bite is a risk even if the dog bite is minor. It is important that all Wisconsin dog bite victims know the signs of bacteremia and sepsis.

Signs of bacteremia:

  • Sudden fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rapid heart rate

Symptoms of sepsis:

  • Fever above 101.3 degrees F
  • Body temperature below 95 degrees F
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Warm skin and possible marbled-looking skin rash
  • Mottled skin
  • Weakness
  • Signs of infection

Do you have additional questions about your own Wisconsin dog bite injury? Contact the Green Bay dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.