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If you're attacked by a dog and don't seek medical treatment, you may develop an infection from the wound. While dogs are touted as having much cleaner mouths than humans, that's not entirely true. A dog bite has the potential to cause serious injuries and infections.

Infections occur in around 10 to 15 percent of bites by dogs. While that might seem like a relatively low number, the injuries an infection can cause can't be ignored.

If you're bitten on the hand or a joint, you're more likely to develop an infection. Why? The bites in these areas push bacteria down deep into the body where the body has a harder time fighting off the infection.

The first signs of infection to look for after a bite are swelling and inflammation. You might notice the area around the wound becoming red or itchy. Sometimes, there may be pus or discharge. If you are bitten, the best way to prevent an infection is to seek medical attention right away.

Even if the bite seems minor now, it could end up being dangerous or potentially-deadly later. On top of that, there is a risk of additional and serious infections such as tetanus or rabies. Those infections require immediate treatment to prevent their spread. When untreated and symptoms emerge, rabies is fatal. When untreated, tetanus is extremely painful and life-threatening. Without treatment, most people die from a tetanus infection, but a treatment of antitoxin and course of antibiotics can prevent that from happening.

If you're bitten, your health is at risk. You need to seek medical attention. Your attorney can help you recover your costs after your life is not longer at risk.

Source: HealthLine, "Animal Bite Infections," Nancy Choi, MD, Amber Erickson Gabbey, Diana K. Wells, accessed June 26, 2017

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