Man dies after being licked by his dog and contracting rare infection


A 63-year old man has died in Germany after he contracted a rare infection from the lick of his dog.

Doctors are warning pet owners to seek medical advice if they exhibit flu-like symptoms after this case. The details of the case have been published in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.

The man, who was previously healthy, contracted the capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria that is usually found in the mouths of dogs and cats. It can be transmitted to humans, but only on rare occasions. Usually, the bacteria travel to a human if they have been bitten which was not the case here.

He had only touched the dog and had been licked by him. No signs of injury or bites were found. The Red Cross Hospital in Bremen, Germany, claimed that he had not been in contact with any other dogs except his own.

The first symptoms reported were flu-like symptoms that developed severe sepsis and purpura fulminans. This is an acute disorder that causes the patient to develop blood spots, discoloration of the skin, necrosis, and bruising. The man was treated in the intensive care unit, but with his depleting health, he faced multiple organ failure which led to his demise.

This is not the first such incident reported:

In May this year, a woman in Ohio had to have her legs and arms amputated after she contracted the rare infection from capnocytophaga canimorsus. According to doctors, the infection occurred when her German shepherd puppy licked her open wound.

Last year, a team of surgeons had to amputate the nose and limbs of a man as the same bacteria had made its way into his system.

This bacteria, while completely normal for a dog to have in their mouth, do not usually cause any significant harm to a human. In the wrong circumstance, though, this bacteria can cause havoc in one’s body and can lead to death in the rarest of cases. Dr. Stephen Cole, a lecturer of veterinary microbiology at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine verified these facts for our team.


Sandra Williams

Sandra is a science enthusiast and a researcher by nature. Her articles are informative and eloquent in equal measures, and always include knowledge that is verified by authentic sources. She is a maven at health related sciences and takes an interest in new scientific findings from all facets of the subject. Her column is a ready reckoner on all that is going on in the world of scientific study, and health sciences, including disease outbreaks, their causes, and prevention measures being taken.

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