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Woman had to be amputated both hands and legs

Woman loses hands and legs after infection with dog saliva

A woman in the United States had to have both hands and legs amputated after being infected with a dangerous bacterium. She was apparently infected by saliva from her dog. The pathogen detected in the patient can also have life-threatening consequences.

Infection with saliva of her pet

A woman in Ohio had to have both hands and legs amputated after a dog's salivary infection – probably after one of her beloved pets licked her, Yahoo! News. ”Marie coach told TV station Fox 8 News that her horrific ordeal began when she and her husband returned from a Caribbean vacation earlier this year.

Dog scratching the coat
In the United States, a woman was amputated with both her legs and legs because she had been infected by her dog's saliva with a dangerous bacterium. (Image: nateejindakum /

The patient initially thought of a flu

When Ms. Trainer began to suffer from nausea and back pain, she initially thought she had the flu. But when her temperature started to fluctuate, she went to a hospital.

It quickly got worse there. Within hours, she developed sepsis (blood poisoning).

As her limbs began to deteriorate due to cold, doctors placed the woman in a medically induced coma that lasted for ten days.

"When I opened my eyes, I didn't know where I was," said the coach. "Then I found out … It was very difficult when I realized that they had to remove my legs and arms … very difficult to handle," she continued.

The patient spent a total of 80 days in the hospital.

Blood tests showed that she had been infected with the Capnocytophaga bacterium.

Ms. Trainer's doctors suspect that one of her dogs has licked a small scratch on her arm, resulting in blood clots typical of the infection.

Although the doctors had removed as many blood clots as possible to save their lives, it was too late to save their limbs.

Infection can be fatal

The capnocytophaga bacterium occurs in the mouth of dogs and cats.

"In its natural environment, the dog's or cat's mouth, the bacterium Capnocytophaga canimorsus does no harm," the University of Basel explains on its website.

"However, if the pathogen enters the human tissue and blood through a bite or scratch, it can lead to serious illnesses," the experts write.

"In the absence of antibiotic treatment, the bacteria can multiply unhindered and dangerous infections such as cold burn, blood poisoning, meningitis or endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, trigger," it continues.

According to the Swiss University, an infection with the bacterium can also lead to death in extreme cases.

With an intact immune system, there is usually no danger

According to the report from Yahoo News! Sumon Chakrabarti, a specialist in infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital in Canada, reports that some types of Capnocytophaga also occur in the human oral flora.

"Humans can also be exposed to animal versions of the bacterium by contact with saliva from cats or dogs," says Chakrabarti.

“This can happen through a bite, a leak or a scratch, usually from a dog. Most forms of Capnocytophaga from the mouth of animals do not cause human disease, and most people with a normal immune system do not become ill upon exposure, ”the doctor explained.

According to one skilled in the art, Capnocytophaga usually causes severe infections only in people with specific health problems, such as advanced liver disease, asplenia (dysfunction of the spleen) or excessive alcohol consumption.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with weakened immune systems, such as those with cancer or HIV infection, are at greater risk of illness.

First sign

In the case of an infection with Capnocytophaga, it comes within a few hours, for example, after a bite of a cat or dog to bubble around the bite wound.

Other symptoms may include: redness, swelling, pus or pain in bite, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, confusion and pain in muscles and joints.

According to reports, most people who get sick show symptoms within three to five days of getting a bite.

According to the report, infections leading to sepsis can lead to death within 24 to 72 hours after symptom onset.

Avoid infections

The CDC recommends that you wash a bite of soap and water immediately.

The best way to avoid infection is to avoid biting, scratching and licking cats and dogs, Chakrabarti said.

He advises patients who do not have a functioning spleen to avoid close contact with these animals.

When a person with a particularly susceptible condition is bitten by a cat or dog, he generally prescribes short antibiotic therapy to prevent infection.

"As a communicable disease doctor, I advise people not to be licked by any animal," says Chakrabarti.

But, "It's important to remember that this is a very rare disease affecting people with certain health problems. If you don't have any of the above problems, you can still be licked by your dog or cat without the risk of serious problems. "(Advertisement)


  • University of Basel: From animals to humans: How dangerous are bacteria ?, (available 13.08.2019), University of Basel

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