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Bacterial infections after a dog bite

When a child sustains a dog bite, many Connecticut parents might worry about their child incurring a disease such as rabies. However, there are other infections children can get from animal bites. One of these is cellulitis and it is important for parents to recognize the symptoms.

When a dog bites someone, the animal might transmit bacteria into a wound. Medscape says that Pasteurella is one kind of bacteria which might enter a wound when a bite breaks the skin. This kind of pathogen typically lives in an animal's mouth. If this bacterium spreads to a person, some people may develop a skin condition called cellulitis.

If a child develops cellulitis after a dog bite, there are many symptoms a parent might notice. According to HealthyChildren.org, some children may have a fever or chills and their skin might be tender or swollen. In some situations, parents might realize that the infected area is leaking pus. Parents and children might notice these changes in the hours after the bite or the next day. Most of the time, it might take a week for this infection to heal. As soon as parents realize their child has symptoms of cellulitis, it is important for them to contact their doctor.

Treatment of cellulitis usually depends on how serious the injury is. A pediatrician typically runs tests to determine if a child has cellulitis or a different condition. Once they have made a diagnosis, some doctors may drain the infected area to help it heal. Other physicians may prescribe antibiotics to make sure the bite wound does not become infected. If a doctor prescribes medication, it is important for parents to make sure their child takes the full dosage and does not stop once the symptoms have disappeared. This can help ensure that a child fully recovers.

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