If you jog regularly around your neighborhood, you get to know a lot about the local dogs. You learn which ones ignore you, which are happy to see you, and which you should cross the street to avoid. Because aggressive dogs often bare their teeth, people tend to worry about a dog ripping a chunk of flesh out of their leg.

Big, sharp teeth can do a lot of damage. Yet, it is not always their sharpness that will hurt you. It’s the fact that dogs don’t brush them. Dogs’ mouths are full of bacteria that could harbor a variety of diseases.

What diseases can you get from a dog bite?

  • Rabies: While less common in US dogs, it is common among some wild animals. You cannot tell the history of another person’s dog. They may have been out in the woods and come into contact with an infected animal, picking up the disease.
  • Capnocytophaga: You are more likely to be at risk if you have a weakened immune system.
  • Tetanus: This is a serious disease and would need to be treated with antibiotics. You may want to get a tetanus booster injection.
  • Sepsis: People die of sepsis every year when wounds become infected.

What should I do if a dog bites me?

If a dog bites you, your first step should be to clean the wound and perhaps seek medical attention. Preventing infection is vital. While not all dog bites lead to disease, some of these diseases can kill if not caught early and treated. Once you have secured your health, seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. You may be able to claim against the dog’s owner.