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Dog kisses blamed for devastating infection that cost a woman her hands and legs

Published Aug 6th, 2019 12:30PM EDT
dog bacteria
Image: Cultura/REX/Shutterstock

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Dogs are man’s best friend, but their mouths aren’t the most sterile things in the world. In fact, a dog’s mouth can be downright disgusting, and an Ohio woman just found that out in the worst possible way.

As CNN reports, Marie Trainer began feeling ill shortly after she arrived home from a vacation to the Dominican Republic. Her sickness, first believed to be something she caught during her tropical adventure, was actually a devastating infection likely caused by her own canine companion.

Doctors spent a week trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with Trainer before ultimately determining she had caught a bacterial infection. The bacteria, capnocytophaga canimorsus, can be transferred to a person from a dog in rare instances, like if dog saliva ends up near an open cut or sore. The initial symptoms — aching muscles and nausea — are so vague that it’s often difficult to diagnose before more serious symptoms arise.

Trainer’s condition became incredibly serious, causing her to fall unconscious. She began developing gangrene on her extremities as well as a potentially deadly blood clot. Doctors were forced to amputate her hands and legs due to massive tissue death.

Trainer, who doctors said was “close to death” during her ordeal, has reportedly endured eight surgeries since her initial doctor visit, and will eventually be matched with prostheses to replace her amputated limbs.

A similar story surfaced last year when a Wisconsin man came down with the same type of bacterial infection after being licked by a friend’s dog. The man lost both of his legs, parts of his hands, and even a portion of his nose due to the rapid tissue death.

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