I’ve never been much of a dog person.
Apart from the shedding, running, biting and drooling, I hate the ‘friendly’ licking.
Some people are happy to let their pooch slobber all over them, which is fine. You do you.
Just keep in mind that, in very rare cases, it might not be that good for you.
Doctors in Germany are asking pet owners to seek medical attention if they experience unusual flu-like symptoms.
This, per Sky News, after a man died of multi-organ failure a couple of weeks after a dog licked him.
He was infected with capnocytophaga canimorsus – a bacteria founds in the saliva and gums of canines and cats – which can sometimes be transmitted to humans.
If caught, the infection is fatal in around a quarter of cases, according to doctors from the Rote Kreuz Krankenhaus Hospital in Bremen.
Not ideal, but at least it’s rare. Severe infections only normally affect people with a compromised immune system.
The unnamed man was treated with antibiotics in hospital after experiencing three days of fevers and breathing difficulties.
He also had petechiae (tiny purple, red or brown spots) on his face, and dysaesthesia – nerve damage in his right leg.
He had both legs amputated along with parts of his hands. While medics tried to work out what was wrong with him, he deteriorated as his kidneys and liver started to fail.
He developed encephalopathy (brain disease) and paralytic ileus (intestinal muscle paralysis), and also had a cardiac arrest but was successfully resuscitated.
On his fourth day in hospital, doctors diagnosed capnocytophaga canimorsus from blood tests and they boosted his antibiotic regime.
But his brain began to swell and scans of his abdomen revealed blood flow was being cut off from some organs, including the spleen.
His family made the decision to turn off life support 16 days after he was admitted to hospital. Health has some advice for pet owners from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
If you’re bitten by a dog or cat […] wash the affected area with soap and water without delay. It’s also advised to seek advice from your doctor, even if you don’t feel sick, and especially if the wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen; if you develop a fever; or if the dog that bit you was acting strangely.
In general, you should be washing your hands after your dog licks you.
It’s just good hygiene.
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