Dog owner dies after being licked by pet and catching deadly infection

Dog owner dies after being licked by pet and catching deadly infection

A man who fell ill as a result of being licked by his dog passed away after contracting a rare and deadly infection from the canine's saliva, the Daily Mail reports.

The deceased, who has not been unidentified, was in good health prior to being infected by his pet, according to doctors.

The late 63-year-old spent over two weeks in hospital as a result of the pneumonia, gangrene and fever of 41°C (106°F) he developed as a result of the condition.

He contracted a bacteria known as Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which is typically transmitted by bites - but can cause be spread through just a lick.

When he was taken to hospital following the initial signs of the illness, he was experiencing flu-like symptoms for a few days. He also had a fever and found it difficult to breathe.

Credit: European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.

The case was documented in a medical journal by doctors from the Rote Kreuz Krankenhaus in Bremen, Germany.

The team, led by Dr Naomi Mader, wrote: "Pet owners with flu-like symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when their symptoms exceed those of a simple viral infection, which in this case were [breathing problems and rash]. Physicians confronted with such patients should ask about contact with dogs and cats."

Unfortunately, by the time he had begun his medical treatment, the man had already developed a severe case of sepsis and was in desperate need of intensive care, according to doctors.

Credit: European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.

In the first four days at the hospital, his condition exacerbated greatly. He had a rash on his face, bruises on his legs and endured a great deal of nerve pain.

The infection then led to his kidneys and liver shutting down and clotting in his blood vessels. His skin began to rot away, and eventually, this all led to cardiac arrest.

When his heart stopped, the man was resuscitated and put onto life support. But doctors knew that saving his life would be a difficult feat.

Ultimately though, his organs had suffered irreparable damage and doctors and his family stopped the life support. He died 16 days after being admitted to hospital.

The tragic case was published in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.