This Horrifying Story Of A Woman Losing Her Hands And Legs Will Make You Think Twice About Letting Your Dog Kiss You
We all love our puppies. There’s a reason they are called man’s best friend. They are adorable, loyal and sweet little pals who only want our affection and attention. However, giving them that much-deserved affection can sometimes backfire in a life-changing way — as it did for one Ohio woman earlier this year.
After nine days in the hospital, a woman woke up to find her hands and legs amputated and the reason behind their loss was a rare infection caused by puppy kisses.
The nightmare started after the woman returned home from a vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
When Marie Trainer returned from her trip, she experienced a backache and nausea that caused her to take time off of work. Soon, her temperature began fluctuating wildly — spiking and dropping sporadically. The sudden changes to her temperature and her worrisome symptoms landed her in the local emergency room on May 11.
When first admitted, Trainer was delirious and she soon fell unconscious. Doctors first suspected that the problem was some sort of tropical disease picked up from her travel to the Caribbean. However, this wasn’t the cause. It took the hospital seven days to eliminate that possibility and find the real cause of Trainer’s illness.
Trainer had contracted a rare infection from the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus.
Doctors say bacteria was probably introduced into Trainer’s body when her German shepherd puppy, Taylor, licked an open cut somewhere on her body. As the infection took its course, the Ohio woman’s skin began quickly changing to a purplish-red color before progressing into full-blow gangrene in her extremities. She soon developed a blood clot that threatened Trainer’s life. The discoloration also spread to the tip of her nose, ears, and face.
While being hospitalized at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, Trainer was treated by Dr. Margaret Kobe, the medical director of infectious disease. Kobe shared with CNN the process of identifying and treating Trainer’s illness.
“It was difficult to identify, We’re kind of the detectives,” Kobe explained. “We went through all these diagnoses until we could narrow things down. She didn’t lose parts of her face. But her extremities is what she had to have surgery on. This is off the scale, one of the worst cases we have seen in terms of how ill people become with infections. She was close to death.”
However, Trainer’s family wanted to get a second opinion before they made the life-changing decision to amputate.
Hoping to save Trainer’s legs and hands, her family reached out to see if they would get a less severe diagnosis. However, the damage was too extensive and had already corrupted the tissue in her extremities. Doctors confirmed the diagnosis of Capnocytophaga through the use of blood tests and cultures.
Trainer’s family then gave permission for her treatments. Trainer has now had eight surgeries and will soon be fitted for prostheses on her arms and legs. Gina Premier, Trainer’s step-daughter and a nurse at the same hospital she was treated at, spoke with CNN about the prognosis
“That was a pretty hard pill for us to all swallow,” she admitted. “To say she was fine a couple days ago on vacation and now she’s actively getting worse by the minute and now her hands and feet aren’t alive, like this doesn’t happen, it’s 2019.”
While this is a cautionary tale for all dog-owners, Trainer’s cause is a rare one.
This news has us seriously rethinking how we show our pups affection and vice versa. According to the Center for Disease Control, the bacteria is present in as many as 74% of dogs. However, most people who come into contact with infected dogs and cats don’t get sick themselves. The bacteria poses a greater risk to people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and children. Once contracted, symptoms of the infection usually manifest in three to five days. Three in ten of those who develop a severe infection will die because of Capnocytophaga.
Though changed forever, Trainer is grateful to still be living and is ready to move on to the next chapter of her life.
Though the bacteria was introduced via one of her dogs, Trainer has no intention of giving her pups away. In fact, she was eager to see them while she was still hospitalized. She asked doctors if her two furry friends could visit and they were happy to accommodate the request.
“They brought them here two times at the hospital so I can see them and that just put the biggest smile on my face,” Trainer told CNN.
It just goes to show that nothing can stop puppy love — not even a major bacterial infection.