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Q

My mother has diabetes, was recently bitten by a dog, and now has a bad infection. Why are diabetics more susceptible to infections after a dog bite?

A

More than eight percent of Americans have diabetes. Diabetes poses unique dog bite risks, so people with diabetes may need to be especially careful around dogs. If they are bitten, they will need to take immediate precautions to prevent dog bite complications.

Dog Bite Complications Associated With Diabetes

  • Diabetic ulcers:  Many diabetics develop open sores or ulcers on their feet. Dogs have a super strong sense of smell and can detect the scent of the injuries. Some dogs find the decaying skin on diabetic ulcers irresistible.
  • Diabetic neuropathy:  Diabetics often suffer from a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels. The condition can cause a loss of sensation in the hands and feet. The numbness may be so severe that the patient is unable to feel a dog bite. The patient may not realize he has been bitten until he sees the injury.
  • Complications with healing:  Many diabetics have poor circulation. This makes it hard for dog bite wounds to heal properly.
  • Increased risk of infection:  Dogs carry more than 100 species of disease-causing bacteria in their mouths. Diabetes represses the immune system and makes it hard to fight the infection.
  • Diabetic shock:  A dog bite injury can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate leading to diabetic shock. If the shock is severe, the patient could go into a diabetic coma.

 

When a person with diabetes is bitten by a dog, the victim must get immediate medical care. Even a small wound can become serious.

If you are attacked by a dog in Philadelphia, the dog owner may be responsible for your medical expenses and other damages. To learn more about your rights, schedule a free consultation with the dog bite attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo, P.C. Call us at 888-807-9675.