Don’t Smooch Your Pooch: Healthy Man Dies From His Dog’s Lick!

legs amputated when her puppy licked an open cut. Like the German man, her health deteriorated quickly as her skin turned purple and progressed to gangrene.

Just last year, a Wisconsin man reported to the hospital color changes of the skin after initially thinking he had the flu. He developed gangrene and his hands and feet were amputated.

Capnocyophaga canimorsus is a part of the normal flora of a dog’s mouth. Therefore, it doesn’t cause any significant illness for your pet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacteria can cause opportunistic infections. This means that under the right conditions and with a person who has a weakened immune system, the bacteria can cause infection. The infection can spread causing endocarditis, septicemia, abscesses, and inflammation to various organs.

Following this rare case, doctors have warned that pet owners seek urgent medical attention if they have unusual flu-like symptoms. If you have a condition that causes a weakened immune system, take precautions when around animals. Be sure to cover any wounds or scratches to prevent the transmission of the bacteria.

To prevent dog bites, the CDC recommends the following:

1. Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog
2. Don’t run from a dog
3. Don’t disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for their puppies
4. Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to see or sniff you first
5. Don’t encourage your dog to play rough or aggressively
6. Don’t make loud noises our panic

Dr. Candace McMillon-Dantley is on a mission to inspire and educate women to health.  She is the creator of The Doc Knows, a health and wellness site for women.  When she’s not health writing, she is health motivating and educating through presentations on healthy nutrition, self-care, and conditions of the body.  Her experiences as a business owner, chiropractor, wife, and mom of two resonate with all women. Connect with Dr. Candace on Instagram @drcandace