Pasteurellosis Infection From a Dog Bite
The Chicago Dog Bite Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. understand that the risk for infection is a serious concern anytime the skin is broken due to an attack by an animal. Pasteurellosis infection is the most common bite infection, and is found in more than half of all infected dog bite wounds, and as many as three-quarters of all infected cat bite wounds. This infection is caused by the bacterium Pasteurella, which lives naturally in the mouths of dogs and cats. Due to the greater likelihood of Pasteurellosis occurring in cat bites, studies have shown the importance of considering the potential for this infection following all incidents involving a cat bite or cat scratch, particularly those exhibiting any sign of possible infection.
Although pasteurella bacteria is more likely to enter the wound and cause infection as a result of the actual bite or attack, it can also come from a variety of other sources, and therefore can enter an injury site subsequent to an initial attack as well. For example, pasteurellosis can occur when a dog or cat licks and open wound. The infection has also been connected to human contact with livestock or poultry, both in the presence and absence of an existing wound.
The first signs of pasteurellosis usually occur within 2 to 24 hours of the bite or scratch, or with subsequently occurring infections, within 2 to 24 hours of the bacteria entering the wound site. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and reddening. In some cases, the rapid progression in inflammation of soft-tissue can result in Pasteurellosis being mistaken for other infections, such as certain strains of Streptococcus. While cellulitis is more common, the infection can also result in abscesses, and other skin conditions of minor to moderate severity.
As the infection spreads, deeper layers of the soft tissue are affected in the process. If left untreated, pasteurella infection can lead to severe complications, especially when the bite is inflicted upon the victim’s hand(s). This can affect the tendons or even bones of the hand, and sometimes cause permanent damage. Examples include septic arthritis, tenosynovitis, and osteomyelitis. Cat bites, in particular, have been associated with these clinical conditions, due their small, sharp teeth, which can easily penetrate the skin.
In more severe cases, the infection can cause complications similar to those caused by Capnocytophaga, such as meningitis, septicemia, and endocarditis. Consequently, it is very important that you see a doctor immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of infection. In fact, the more preferable approach in dealing with animal bites, is to seek medical treatment anytime the skin is pierced, especially if the attack involves substantial, numerous, or deep skin punctures.
If you have developed Pasteurellosis Infection as a result of a dog or other animal bite injury and need legal assistance, contact the Chicago lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. to speak with an attorney. We have decades of experience in providing superior and aggressive representation in the claims and litigation processes associated with dog bite and animal attack personal injury cases. Schedule your FREE personal injury consultation by contacting us online, or by calling 773-516-4100.