Man hospitalized due to contracting a rare infection from his pet Chihuahua.


A man found himself hospitalized after contracting a rare infection from his pet Chihuahua, doctors suspect. The 71-year-old, residing in the Canary Islands, spent three weeks in hospital, where he required an oxygen mask for breathing assistance. Suffering from sepsis, a severe bodily reaction to infection, he delayed seeking medical attention despite experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea and fever for several days. Notably, he had underlying health conditions including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and lung disease.

Despite the absence of scratches or bites from his dog, a chest x-ray revealed a concerning opacity in his right lung. The diagnosis pointed to pneumonia complicated by septic shock, necessitating urgent treatment with antibiotics and oxygen therapy. Subsequent blood tests confirmed the presence of Pasteurella multocida, a bacterium commonly found in the oral cavity of dogs. Although pneumonia from this bacterium is rare, it typically manifests in soft-tissue infections resulting from bites or scratches.

The man emphasized that he had not experienced any direct injuries from his pet. Medical professionals cautioned against activities such as sharing a bed with dogs, kissing them, or allowing them to lick one’s face, which could pose infection risks. Despite the severity of his condition, the man eventually recovered well, as reported in a publication by Respiratory Medicine Case Reports.

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