Dog-lover Marie Trainer is used to affectionate licks from her loving pooches.
But little did she realize the consequences of these innocent acts of love from her dogs until she woke up in hospital to find that her legs and arms had been partially amputated.
The Ohio businesswoman developed serious symptoms after one of her dogs licked her arm and the consequences have changed her life completely.
Marie started to feel sick, her temperature fluctuated, and she went downhill. At hospital sepsis set in and she developed gangrene; hospital staff had to put her in an induced coma, according to Fox News.
When Marie woke up, ten days later, she found that her arms and legs had been partially amputated.
“When I opened my eyes I didn’t know where I was,” Marie told Fox 8. “It was very hard to find out that they had to remove my legs and my arms…very hard to cope with.”
Doctors discovered that her infection had been caused by a germ found in dogs and cats called capnocytophaga which entered her body through a scrape in her arm.
But the serious reaction Marie had to her dog’s affectionate licks affect around one in a million people, Fox 8 reported.
Dr. Margaret Kobe, who is the medical director of infectious disease at the hospital where Marie was treated, said capnocytophaga was toxic.
“[It is] fairly common in the oral flora or the mouth of a dog and it can be transmitted through a bite or sometimes just contact with saliva,” she added.
“That organism is very virulent. It has the ability to induce your immune system to do some pretty horrible things.”
‘Wash your hands’
But Dr Kobe says people shouldn’t be afraid of their pets, just to be more aware of the possibilities.
“If you get bit by a dog you definitely need to go on antibiotics and to wash your hands when playing with a dog, especially with an open cut,” she said.
Marie is thankful for her husband’s support throughout her ordeal and says she has no plans to get rid of her dogs.
Marie’s bravery and strength throughout this life-changing ordeal is admirable and we wish her all the best on her road to recovery.
Please share this story with other dog and cat owners to raise awareness.