Prevention of Capnocytophaga Infection

Learn how to prevent dog bites and what to do if you are bitten by a dog or cat. If you are at a higher risk of infection with Capnocytophaga germs, it is important to seek medical care promptly.

If you start having symptoms within 14 days of being bitten, get medical care immediately. Tell your health care provider that you were recently bitten by an animal.

About 3 in 10 people (30%) who develop serious infections with Capnocytophaga germs die. Some infections can lead to death within 24 to 72 hours after symptoms start.

If you have been bitten by a dog or cat, wash the bite area right away with soap and water, and call your doctor, even if you don’t feel sick. This is because dog and cat bites can pose a risk for rabies, as well as Capnocytophaga.

People may be infected after close contact with a dog or cat without being bitten. If you are at higher risk of infection, speak with your doctor about how to protect yourself when you have contact with pets. Also, see the Pets page for information about safer contact with pets.