Not Only Dog Bites Can Kill

Posted on Jul 23, 2016

An elderly British woman who lived alone came close to death after allowing her dog lick her face.

            According to The Daily Mail, one of her relatives grew worried when she heard her words being slurred over the phone. The lady soon became unresponsive and paramedics found her semi-conscious in a chair.

            Once she was in the hospital, conditioned started to improve. But four days later she started experiencing confusion, a headache, diarrhea, a high fever, and kidney failure.

            The doctors completed blood tests to see what was causing her illness. They found that she had sepsis, a blood poisoning bacteria caused by capnoctyophaga canimorsus bacteria, which is found in dogs and cats. This is usually found in patients if they have been bitten by a dog, but to the doctor’s disbelief, no bite marks were found on her body.

            The elderly lady’s Italian greyhound was the source of the issue, but her blood poisoning did not come from a dog bite, it came from her dog’s tongue. Dog’s mouths have actually been found to carry many dangerous pathogens.

            Bruce Farber, the chief of infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, informed CBS news about sepsis. “This is an organism carried in the mouths of dog and it causes very bad sepsis infection. But it’s usually in people who are immuno-compromised and usually follows a dog bite. But this is unusual because it was a lick. I’ve probably seen two cases in 30 years of doing infectious disease.”

            This disease is rare, but pet owners should note that dog’s mouths may not be cleaner than people’s mouths.

            If you own a dog and you let him lick your face, this does not mean you will suffer from any serious diseases. But you should be cautious. If you have an open wound and your dog licks it, harmful bacteria could spread to the injured area and cause you to become sick.

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