Unintended consequences: Woman contracts deadly disease from dog licks

A  woman was admitted to the emergency room with seizures and organ failure after contracting blood poisoning after her Italian greyhound licked her face.

The saliva transferred from the pooch smooch resulted in blood poisonings in the unique case confirmed in the BMJ Case Reports medical journal.

Sepsis derives from the bacteria, Capnocytophaga canimorsus, and is normally transferred through dog bites.

According to the National Institute of Health if sepsis develops into septic shock there is a potential mortality rate of 50%.

“The prevalence of contracting sepsis from a dog lick is rare,” said Dr. Scott Simon, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Animal Hospital of Chelsea. “However it’s important that owners don’t intentionally exchange saliva with their dogs especially if they are undergoing chemo therapy, have AIDS, are pregnant or are elderly.”

According to Dr. Simon, your dog is more likely to give you ringworm, scabies or parasites.

After four days of intravenous antibiotics and months of thyroid hormone replacement and outpatient treatment the woman has been symptom free for about a year.

“If your pooch is a scavenger, then a canine lick on the lips could jeopardize your health. The half-eaten hot dog your dog found on the street — or the feces he was nibbling on — could be loaded with germs and bacteria such as toxocara, salmonella, giardia, hookworm, tapeworm and many others, putting your family’s health at risk,” Dr. Oz said in an interview with People Pets.

The bottom line is this: as adorable as those doggie kisses may be, they may give us more than we asked for in the form of gum disease caused by organisms not normally found in the human mouth. You can show your affection to your dog for Valentine’s Day, or at any other time — but it’s probably best to share a hug or a pat and save the kissing for your human pack members..


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