The Lick Of Death

in esteem •  3 months ago
(License: CC0]: Pixabay
Hey, look! It’s a cute dog licking a dude's face and they sure look lovely together. Pets can be very cute and adorable you know, just like this one seen on this picture. Are they as lovely, beautiful and harmless as they pose to be? I think the fuck not. Well, when I was younger I heard stories of a girl who was bitten by a dog, ran mad and had to have 40 injections in her belly to help her stay normal. That story got me terrified and I somewhat became cynophobic (phobic for animals. Especially dogs) until my father adopted a dog; this probably caused the allergies to go away, but I was still careful, regardless - No one wants 40 individual injections in their belly to keep them sane.
All I feared was madness and of course the injections but your lovely pets could bring you worse things like hmmm… death? Yeah, Death. Just so we know, every pet, canine or animal have bacteria in their mouths that may not be harmful to them as animals but can be very dangerous to us. I had read through, true-life stories of kind-hearted people who rescued pets by adopting them from the streets or the wild and died from little scratches or bites from these little angels, I mean they are angels but the demons in them wouldn’t let them be 100 per cent sweet. You know the story of Yin and Yang? It’s a quite popular story, the most of us should know it but for the clueless fellows, I interpret the story as to every good there is a little evil in it and to every evil, there is a little good in it; I hope this explains my thoughts on the little fluffy angels.


Let’s proceed, shall we? I read a really sad story about a woman from Wisconsin who died 2 days after she was nipped by her newly adopted dog. This story read, that the poor sweet lady had gotten symptoms that maybe be equated to the symptoms you have when you get a flu, so not much attention was given to it until these flu symptoms lasted hours and she was taken to the hospital to get treated but the antibiotics given to her didn’t work as expected leading her to her early grave- May her gentle soul rest in peace. Quite sad a story yeah? And it’s even sadder that her beloved fluffy angel was the reason for her death; I would rather not think too much about this situation. Also, there is another story of a man who got his legs and arms amputated as a result of a dog’s lick.


Another is a story of a little boy who got his arms amputated also as a result of a dog’s lick; all these people had an encounter with pets and all of them showed positive when tested for the bacteria ‘Capnocytophaga’. Capnocytophaga is found in the mouth of most pets as normal oral flora, which makes it not harmful to them but then, quite or I would I say very harmful to us, humans. The level of human’s susceptibility to this bacteria depends on our health status - that is, those who are immuno-compromised are at more risk. These bacteria can be transferred from our loving and innocent pets to us through biting, licking, nipping and other methods of transfer that involves their saliva, mouths and us. People with HIV infection, the absence of spleen, diabetes, cancer and alcoholics are more prone to contracting this infection.

(License: CC0]: Pixabay

Is someone getting scared of owning a pet already? Or planning to make the one they already own homeless because of this article? I would disagree with those thoughts running through your head because of the rarity of this infection. Just take a look at these cuties, who wouldn't want to own this full pack of joy? Don't get too scared because iIt’s basically a game of chance and luck with luck on the greater side, as contracting this infection from pets is not very common, especially if your health condition is good. Isn’t it quite interesting that most of the cases reported for this condition, the individuals infected contracted this bacteria through their pets licking them and
scary that your dog’s affection it shows through licking your face and other parts of your body may be equated to the lick of death? Your pet’s affection gets you killed; Nothing is sadder than this, in my opinion.

This infection, although rare can cause sepsis and can be so deadly causing death within 24 to 72 hours after the symptoms appear; according to centres for disease control and prevention, the infection is so dangerous with a record of the death of 30 per cent of people infected with it. This bacteria can cause other sorts of health complications like eyes, gum respiratory tract infection, inflammation of the lymph nodes, brain membranes, blood infection etc. This whole nightmare depends upon the way our body responds to the infection; the sad stories I read about people who got their arms and legs amputated was because their bodies reaction to the infection was to let the tissue surrounding the infected part of the body to become necrotic ( this is usually as a result of overly lowered blood pressure) and for the rest of the body to be saved, the dead or dying part is usually cut off. While some people’s body reacts like the former, some people’s do not react at all and do not even feel anything, I mean this bacteria doesn’t harm them or cause sepsis. As I said earlier, if you are planning on adopting a pet or saving a pet you should go ahead because there are ways you could try to prevent contracting this infection. Another good news is that this infection is said to be very susceptible to antibiotics which we can easily lay our hands on.

(License: CC0]: Pixabay

Preventing yourself from this infection is quite easy; you have to keep your pets neat and your environment neat and also try as much as possible to avoid face licking and nipping from your pets. Before I proceed in ways in which you can prevent this infection, let me clearly enumerate the likely symptoms you may notice when you contract this infection. People tested and reported positive of capnocytophaga all portrayed similar symptoms that resemble the kind you notice when you have flu which includes; diarrhoea, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, blisters, draining pus, swelling and pain around infected area and sometimes confusion. This symptom is likely to appear hours or few days after contracting the infection usually between one and fourteen days. Three out of ten people infected with capnocytophaga die, which is a percentage of thirty out of 100 if not treated immediately with intense care.



If you got bitten, nipped or licked by a dog or cat and you start having symptoms resembling what I mentioned above you should seek medical attention immediately to ensure safety for your body and health - losing a limb or several limbs is not fun you know and death is not exactly fun, a dead man can’t have fun; ghosting around isn’t fun lol. Back to measures of preventing this nightmare, like the elders would say, “Prevention is always better than Cure”. Just try not to get bitten, nipped or licked by a dog or a cat, as this is the best way to prevent ourselves from this infection but as easy as this may seem to people who do not love or have pets, it’s not the same for we pet lovers, it’s almost a mission impossible task for us to accomplish. Since the most of us pet lovers cannot avoid getting licked nipped or licked by our pets, what do we do when we get nipped or licked by our pets? The answer is quite obvious. We should always try to wash our hands after playing with our pets and also our faces when our faces get licked by our pets. If bitten by a dog or cat, try to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. If wounded (minor wound), also wash the wound with soap and water and also apply antibiotic ointment or cream to help fight against bacteria that may be contracted.

(License: CC0]: Pixabay

Finally, having a pet is super fun and cute, in fact, owning a pet has several heartwarming benefits when compared to the dangers involved in having one. What do you think made this couple smile so wide in this picture, the drink in their cups? the comfy position they are in? the photographer? I'll stop there because we all know it's that cute little brown bundle of joy between them. The most popular benefit of owning a pet is, pets help reduce stress. Some people believe that owning a pet helps the owner keep fit, the big and fierce pets can also make the owner feel safe, they can improve your immune system and the really cute ones can help you make friends. Pets can also help kids in lowering their chance of developing allergies which is a good thing if you ask me. So, don’t let this article scare you, go ahead and adopt these fluffy angels, as the infection is rare, dangerous but can be treated and better still prevented. As a matter of fact, I also kinda own a cat, it’s barely three weeks old, and I am also taking these precaution measures I mention to own a pet and still stay safe.

Further Reading

Brenner DJ, Hollis DG, Fanning GR, Weaver RE. Capnocytophaga canimorsus sp. nov. formerly CDC group DF-2, a cause of septicemia following dog bite and C. cynodegmi sp. nov., a cause of localized wound infection following dog bite. J Clin Microbiol 1989; 27: 231–235.
Krol-van Straaten MJ, Landheer JE, de Maat CEM. Capnocytophaga canimorsus (formerly DF-2) infections: review of the literature. Neth J Med 1990; 36: 304–309.
Man's limbs amputated after his dog licked him
Woman died after she got nipped by her newly adopted dog

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You mean those fuzzy little angel could lick us to death?? That is no fun at all, prevention they say is better than cure, no dogs would be licking me anytime soon.

Thanks for the educative post

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Prevention is Indeed better than cure



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Wow.... This is scary. I guess I'd be more careful around dogs though I rarely let them get close to me. Thanks for the beautiful revelation.

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thanks for stopping by

Scared at first but it all the same with life, no matter how good something is, there is always another side to it. What remains now is that balance (yin/yang) must be kept. Interesting exposition here

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Thank you