Dog bites are not exactly rare in the United States. In fact, there are more than 4.5 million dog bites somewhere in the country every single year. While most of these bites cause little or no injury, others are more serious. If you develop an infection after a bite, though, your life may be in danger.

In simple terms, infection occurs when a foreign organism enters a person’s body. Even though many infections are treatable with antibiotics, some are more difficult to conquer. Unfortunately, even if you seek medical treatment immediately, you may suffer a variety of complications from a dog-bite infection. Here are a few of them:

Bacteremia 

Many dogs have bacteria in their saliva. Furthermore, you may have bacteria on your skin around a bite would. Bacteremia happens when bacteria gets into the bloodstream. With dog bites, this may happen in a couple of ways. First, the bite may be deep enough to damage a vein or artery. Alternatively, during the healing process, blood vessels and capillaries may move bacteria into the circulatory system.

Sepsis 

You have an immune system that uses a variety of tactics to fight infection. One of these is releasing chemicals near the infection site. Some of these chemicals, however, may cause swelling. If your body swells too much, blood flow may decrease. Blood vessels may also clog, causing sepsis. This condition can be deadly.

Septic shock 

If sepsis becomes severe, your body’s organs may shut down. Of course, without proper organ functionality, your life may be in danger. If you do not receive emergency medical treatment for septic shock, your blood pressure may plummet. As a result, doctors may need to rely on medical technology, such as a ventilator, to keep you alive. 

If you are the victim of a dog bite, you have rights. Specifically, you likely do not have to bear the cost of medical treatment and recovery. You also do not have to simply live with the consequences of an infection.