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Healthy Man Dies From Rare Infection After Being Licked By Pet Dog

Healthy Man Dies From Rare Infection After Being Licked By Pet Dog

Doctors are now urging pet owners to seek medical assistance immediately if they begin exhibiting unusual flu-like symptoms.

A 63-year-old German man contracted a rare infection, which ultimately led to his death, after being licked by his own dog. The elderly man, who otherwise appeared healthy, reportedly had a number of issues including difficulty in breathing, blood spots on his skin, fever, and pain in his legs, according to a paper published in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine. Due to the severity of his condition, he had to be hospitalized immediately. Within 30 hours, the doctors recorded that the man had developed encephalopathy, intestine paralysis, and brain damage.



 

 

Despite doing their best, the man died after 16 days of intensive treatment. The cause of death was said to be capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacterium that is commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats and is rarely transmitted to humans. An animal bite is the only way through which the bacteria is known to be transferred, yet he was not bitten. In the report, medical experts at the Red Cross Hospital in Bremen, Germany noted, "He had been touched and licked, but not bitten or injured, by his dog, his only pet, in previous weeks."



 

 

The man first reported flu-like symptoms which eventually developed into sepsis and purpura fulminans, a severe disorder which causes bruising and discoloration of the skin, blood spots, and necrosis in extreme cases reports CNN. The man's health continued to decline despite being treated in intensive care. He finally died due to multiple organ failure. Hence, doctors are now urging pet owners to seek medical assistance immediately if they begin exhibiting unusual flu-like symptoms. "Pet owners with banal, for instance, flu-like, symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when symptoms are unusual," wrote the medical experts. 



 

 

Furthermore, the researchers added how people with a weak immune system or alcoholics, or the ones who had their spleens removed are especially susceptible to this infection, according to USA Today. The infection is most likely to affect individuals above the age of 40 states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Back in May, doctors had to amputate the legs and hands of an Ohio woman after she suddenly contracted a rare infection from the bacteria capnocytophaga canimorsus. Doctors overlooking the case explained that the woman's German shepherd puppy may probably have licked her open wound which then led to the infection. 



 

 

Just last year, surgeons had to remove parts of a Wisconsin man's nose and limbs, including both his arms and legs, after the same bacteria entered his system. A lecturer in veterinary microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stephen Cole, said that capnocytophaga canimorsus is a "completely normal flora of a dog's mouth and usually doesn't cause any sort of significant disease. However, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong patient ... it can lead to severe infections -- but very, very rarely."



 

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