When New Mexico residents like you suffer from a dog bite injury, you may not expect the long-term effects. Most people worry about the immediate physical damage, such as the tearing of flesh and skin. After that, the most common concern is for rabies infection.

But there are many other infections that a dog bite can cause, too. Some are more serious than others, and all are a good reason to seek immediate medical attention after a bite.

Capnocytophaga infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at one such cause of infection. Capnocytophaga infection gets brought on due to bacteria often found in the mouths of animals, including dogs. The symptoms can include things like blisters around the bite, diarrhea, confusion or a severe headache. This infection comes with some serious complications such as heart attack, gangrene and kidney failure. Severe infection can even result in sepsis, which can quickly lead to death within a period of 24 to 72 hours.

Tetanus infections

Of course, this bacteria is not the only one that can cause trouble. Tetanus bacteria can also enter the body through a dog bite, resulting in muscle spasms and the condition known as lockjaw. Tetanus also has severe repercussions if left untreated. Treatment includes not only rounds of antibiotics, but also the tetanus vaccine. If you are up to date with yours, then your chances of contracting tetanus diminish substantially.

Regardless of whether a bite “looks” infected at first or not, it is always best to see a medical professional as fast as possible. They are among the only people who can give an accurate diagnosis and get you quick treatment if you need it.