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4 signs of infection after a dog bite

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Dog Bites |

Getting bitten by a dog can be a scary experience that requires immediate medical attention. Dog bites have been known to cause serious illnesses such as rabies and tetanus, as dogs’ mouths can harbor bacteria and other pathogens.

Beyond initial wound care, it’s important to monitor for signs of infection, which may indicate the need for further treatment. The following are four signs of infection to watch for after a dog bite.

Pus of discharge

The most obvious sign of wound infection is the presence of pus or discharge. If you notice any yellow, green or foul-smelling fluid coming from the wound site, it could indicate an infection. Pus results from the body’s immune response to fighting off bacteria, and its presence suggests that there may be an active infection in the wound.

Redness and warmth

Redness and warmth around the wound are also common signs of infection. When an infection occurs, the body sends white blood cells to the affected area to fight off the bacteria. This influx of cells can cause increased blood flow, leading to redness and warmth. If you observe the area around the dog bite becoming increasingly red, swollen or feeling warm to the touch, it could be a sign that the wound is infected.


The body’s natural response to infection is often to raise its internal temperature, resulting in a fever. If you develop a fever (temperature above 100.4°F or 38°C) after a dog bite, it could indicate that your body is fighting off an infection. Fevers accompanied by other symptoms such as chills, sweating or generalized malaise should be taken seriously and prompt medical attention sought.

Extreme pain

It’s common to experience some pain and discomfort due to tissue damage and inflammation after a dog bite. However, if the pain becomes extreme or significantly worsens over time, it may be a sign of infection. Infections can cause increased sensitivity and pain around the wound site as the body’s immune response intensifies.

If you get bitten by a dog due to owner’s negligence, you should consider getting legal guidance to help determine your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.