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Video: Saliva From Dogs And Cats Could Be Fatal To Humans
The saliva of dogs and cats carries bacteria that can be potentially fatal to humans. This is Capnocytophaga canimorsus which recently caused the amputation of the arms and legs of a 54-year-old American woman from Ohio, a rather disturbing case that has caused too much media attention in the United States. But what are the symptoms and who are at risk?
Dog saliva carries potentially dangerous bacteria
First, it is important to clarify that in most cases, the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus is not dangerous for humans. However, it can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in people at risk (those with weak immune systems). Cats usually carry the bacteria as well, but dogs are more likely to pass it to humans. This happens when the saliva is in direct contact with a wound or with a mucous membrane such as the mouth, nose or eyes.
Regarding the worrying case of the woman from Ohio, the American media report that her German Shepherd puppy licked an open wound on her arm, thus transmitting, through her saliva, the bacterium Capnocytophaga canimorsus. This quickly resulted in a high fever followed later by severe joint and muscle pain. Believing that she only had a simple flu, the woman was surprised to discover her final diagnosis: a serious infection with liver and kidney failure, caused by bacteria found in the saliva of dogs.
Here is a small list of common symptoms:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Elevated heart rate
- Clammy skin