A man died from a rare bacterial infection after being licked by his dog.
The 63-year-old man spent over a fortnight in hospital after he developed pneumonia, gangrene and fungal infections in his lungs.
The Metro reported how the infection was brought on by a destructive bug in the animal’s saliva, called Capnocytophaga canimorsus.
It’s said the bacteria is normally transmitted through dog bites but doctors were left perplexed when it was contracted via a simple dog lick.
Before receiving medical treatment, the man had already developed severe sepsis.
The man’s condition then deteriorated in hospital, initially with a rash, then with nerve pain and bruises. As his organs shut down, his blood clotted and skin rotted away, before he suffered a heart attack.
Despite being resuscitated, the man then developed a fungal infection in his lungs. Scans also found fluid build up in his brain.
After sixteen days in hospital, and having contracted MRSA, doctors and family turned off his life support.
Doctors from Rote Kreuz Krankenhaus in Bremen reported the case to a medical journal. It caused surprise as there was no sign of an open wound which would have been expected in a serious infection.
Since the shocking death, doctors have recommended pet owners with flu-like symptoms which ‘exceed those of a simple viral infection’ to seek immediate help.
According to a Dutch study, the bacteria of the bug only affects one in every 1.5 million people and kills about a third of those infected.