Can a Dog Bite Cause Tetanus?

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Can a Dog Bit Cause TetanusDog bites are common, with more than 1.7 million occuring each year. Usually wounding the neck and head area of young children and the arms and legs in children over 10 and adults, dog bite wounds can take the form of scratches, open cuts, punctures, crushing of bones and tissue, and even tearing away of body parts.

Tetanus is an infection of a wound brought on by a bacterial toxin. Since this bacterium lives in the soil and in the intestines of some mammals, it is possible for a dog bite to cause tetanus. The bacterium can enter your body through the wound and then multiply to produce toxins that affect muscle-controlling nerves. If you're not sure when your last tetanus vaccine shot was (or if it's been over five years), you should make plans to get one.

If you've been bitten by a dog, you should seek medical help if:

  • Your skin has been broken and bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for fifteen minutes.
  • A bone may be broken.
  • You have diabetes, cancer, HIV-infection, liver disease, or if you are on a medication that could weaken your immune system.

If you don't have these symptoms, monitor your wound carefully for signs of infection. If your wound does not improve, you should seek care.

Mr. David Cowhey has seen all sorts of dog bites over his 33 years of experience with personal injury law. He understands the medicine and the law; he knows how to pursue compensation so you can recover from your injuries and illnesses. If you're a New Jersey resident and you want to speak to our dog attack attorney about your case, please call David Cowhey, the New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer, at 609-653-9200 or contact us online for a free consultation.