What’s better than pup kisses? Surely few things are more full of love and happiness than the attention of a fur ball! But no one would have expected these adorable little licks to pose an underlying health threat.
A 70-year-old pet parent was diagnosed with sepsis and multiorgan dysfunction after her beloved fur ball, an Italian greyhound, licked her in affection as a response to her pettings. This situation is known as the “Lick of Death” by medical journal BML Case Reports, and was found when blood tests showed “a bacterium frequently isolated in the oral cavities of dogs and cats” in the fur ball Mommy’s system. Thankfully, she made a full recovery in a fortnight.
According to Dr. James Wilson, “People who have problems with their immune system—people without spleens, or people who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, or undergoing chemotherapy—should be aware of the risks,” In addition, it’s worth noting that one is more likely to become infected from bites. As such, all fur ball bites received should be immediately cleaned with water and then looked at by a doctor.
Deeper bites that involve a lot of bleeding should be treated urgently, and higher precaution should be taken around children. However, Dr Wilson stated that infection by this bacterium is very rare, even though the bacteria themselves exist in the saliva of most pups. Only three cases of severe infection have been recorded in the United Kingdom since 1990 – that’s one case per 150 million people per year! So there’s no reason to stop enjoying your pup’s kisses. Do like and share to spread the word!
Feature Image Source: Pixabay