Signs and Symptoms of Capnocytophaga Infection
People who are infected with Capnocytophaga can have a range of signs and symptoms such as:
- Blisters around the bite wound within hours of the bite
- Redness, swelling, draining pus, or pain at the bite wound
- Diarrhea and/or stomach pain
- Headache and/or confusion
- Muscle or joint pain
After being bitten, most people who become ill will show symptoms within 3 to 5 days, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 14 days.
Most Capnocytophaga infections usually occur with dog or cat bites. But some people who develop a Capnocytophaga infection have not been bitten. People may be infected after close contact with a dog or cat, especially after contact with the animal’s saliva (spit).
Capnocytophaga infection can cause serious complications, including heart attack, kidney failure, and gangrene. Some people may need to have fingers, toes, or even limbs amputated because of complications from severe infection.
About 3 in 10 people who develop a severe infection die. Some infections can progress very quickly, result in sepsis, and 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.