banner
Pets

Woman dies after getting infection from dog lick

Posted August 13, 2018 9:28 a.m. EDT

— A Wisconsin woman died from an infection she got after a lick from her puppy, doctors say.

Doctores believe bacteria was transferred to Sharon when her puppy licked her. "You could get struck by lightning four times and live, or win the lottery twice. That's how rare this is supposed to be," said her husband Dan, who thought his wife had the flu and is still in shock.

"The general antibiotics that they put her on didn't do anything."

Within two days, 58-year-old Sharon was dead.

"I feel like I got robbed," said Dan. "Lost my right arm. My best friend."

Doctors told Dan that Sharon tested positive for capnocytophaga. The bacteria, found in the saliva of most dogs, cats and even some human is rarely problematic and almost never deadly.

Doctors say when some people come in contact with it, it can have devastating consequences.

Sharon's son Steven is looking for more answers, since there is no real tracking of how many cases there have been.

"[I want people] to always be more cautious," he said. "People think nothing of getting a simple dog bite. But even something so simple can go wrong."

This isn't the first case of an infection from dog saliva this year in Wisconsin. Another man lost his hands and legs in an effort for doctors to save his life.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an epidemiologist with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, said animal lovers have no need to panic.

"It's extremely rare. Do not get rid of your pets. Continue behaving the same way that you have behaved with your pets up until now," Munoz-Price said.