PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Who doesn’t let their dog give them a big, slobbery doggie kiss every now and then?
Is there anything wrong with that?
Animal General’s Dr. Mike Hutchinson says, “Typically, no, but there was this case. A 70-year-old U.K. woman developed some sepsis, which is a bacterial infection in the blood, after her greyhound licked her and kissed her. She was in the ICU for two weeks and she survived.”
According to CBS News, the unusual case was at first a mystery to her doctors.
She was taken to the hospital after developing slurred speech and becoming unresponsive. A few days later, she came down with a high fever, headache, diarrhea and her kidneys began to fail.
CBS News reports that after extensive testing, doctors found something called “Capnocytophaga canimorsus” to be the cause of her declining health.
Experts say that big long name is “a bacterium commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats,” CBS News reports.
Dr. Hutchinson says the bacteria is very rare, but those with weakened immune systems like children, seniors and people on immunosuppressant drugs need to be more careful around animals.
“I would tell people with children under 5, exotic pets, turtles, reptiles, things like that, are not a good idea… because [children] don’t clean as well as we do and wash their hands.”
Dr. Hutchinson stresses it is a rare occurrence that someone gets an infection like this from their pet, but it is a good reminder to be more careful.
Listen to Dr. Hutchinson’s full interview here:
As for the woman in England, CBS News reports she has made a full recovery after being in intensive care and taking antibiotics for two weeks.