A simple lick from her dog landed a 70-year-old English woman in the hospital close to death.
After getting the dose of affection from her Italian greyhound, a relative who was on the phone with her noticed that her speech started to slur and she became unresponsive, according to CBS.
When paramedics arrived they found the woman slumped over in a chair.
Her condition initially improved, but on the fourth day of her infirmary she developed confusion, headache, diarrhea, rigors, with high fever and ultimately kidney failure for which she was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Blood tests showed the woman had Capnocytophaga canimorsus. A rare form of sepsis caused by bacteria in the oral cavities of dogs and cats, CBS reported.
“This is an organism carried in the mouths of dogs, and it causes a 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, Dr. Bruce Farber, who serves as chief of infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, told CBS.
But don’t give away your dog just yet.
“There have only been about 13 cases reported in the entire United Kingdom, and I’m guessing on a similar scale in the U.S,” Shelley Rankin, associate professor of microbiology at Penn Vet, added.
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