A 63-year-old dog owner died from a rare bacteria-filled disease after being licked by his pet canine.
The unidentified man became severely ill after his dog licked him and later died after he caught a rare infection from his pet’s saliva. According to doctors, the man reportedly was completely healthy before he became infected with Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria which is normally transmitted by bites – but can be spread through just a lick. He died after spending more than two weeks suffering in the hospital with drastic conditions including pneumonia, gangrene and a fever of 41°C (106°F), Daily Mail reports.
When the man first arrived at the hospital, he had flu-like symptoms, a fever, and delayed breathing. The symptoms soon progressed to include a rash on his face, nerve pain and bruises in his legs. By the time doctors began treatment, the man already had severe sepsis and needed intensive care to try and save his life. But his condition only worsened to the point his kidneys and liver shut down and he began blood clotting in his blood vessels. His skin began to rot away and he soon went into cardiac arrest.
He was resuscitated after his heart stopped and put onto life support but it was still a journey for doctors to try and bring him back to normalcy. Doctors expressed their surprise with the disease having come from a dog lick that probably only transmitted small numbers of bacteria. The rare bug, according to one study in the Netherlands, affects only one in every 1.5million people and is fatal in around 28 to 31 percent of cases.
Prior to this rare case, doctors believed only weakened immune systems were seriously affected by the bacteria. However, this case showed that it can happen to anyone. The team, led by Dr Naomi Mader, concluded,
‘Pet owners with flu-like symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when their symptoms exceed those of a simple viral infection, which in this case were [breathing problems and rash].
Physicians confronted with such patients should ask about contact with dogs and cats.’
Scans of the man’s brain revealed the massive build-up of fluid in his brain, which caused permanent damage to the organ, Daily Mail reports. Because of his organ failure, doctors and his family took him off life support and the man died 16 days after being admitted to hospital. The case report was published in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.
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