Man Hospitalized After Catching Rare Bug from Pet Chihuahua

In an unusual medical case, a 71-year-old man from the Canary Islands found himself hospitalized after contracting a rare bug believed to have been transmitted by his pet Chihuahua. Doctors suspect that the man may have caught the bug through contact with his dog’s saliva.

The ordeal lasted for three weeks during which the man, whose identity remains undisclosed, required an oxygen mask to aid his breathing. Additionally, he developed sepsis, a severe bodily reaction to infection, which can be life-threatening.

Prior to seeking medical assistance, the man experienced days of diarrhea and a high fever, yet he delayed seeking help for a week, according to healthcare providers at Hospital Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, La Gomera.

Despite having type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and a lung disease, the man insisted that he hadn’t been scratched or bitten by his pet Chihuahua.

Following a chest x-ray, medical professionals observed a ‘dense opacity’ on his right lung, leading to a diagnosis of pneumonia complicated by septic shock. Urgent treatment included the administration of antibiotics and the use of an oxygen mask to aid his breathing.

Subsequent blood tests confirmed that the man had contracted pasteurella multocida, a bacteria commonly found in the mouth of dogs. While pneumonia is rarely attributed to this bug, it typically results in soft-tissue infections following bites and scratches from pets.

Despite the man’s claim that he had not been scratched or bitten, medical experts cautioned against certain behaviors such as sharing a bed with pets, kissing them, and allowing them to lick humans, all of which pose potential risks.

Fortunately, the man showed signs of improvement and made a full recovery six months after being discharged from the hospital. His case was documented in the journal Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, shedding light on the importance of understanding the potential health risks associated with close contact with pets.

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