New Yorkers Warned Not To Let Dogs Lick Their Faces
When we hear the phrase, "kiss of death," we generally think of a sultry woman in a movie who somehow slips poison beyond the lips of a man in a literal kiss of death. This is not that kind of story.
In 2019, the New York Post shared the story of a German man who received a kiss of death when he allowed his dog to kiss him.
After being licked by his dog, the man developed fluelike symptoms and it was soon discovered that he had contracted Capnocytophaga canimorsus which is a bacterial infection in humans caused by germs found in the mouths of dogs and cats. The germs transmitted to the man by his dog led to a slew of horrible ailments including sepsis, liver failure, rotting skin, and eventually cardiac arrest.
The CDC reports that Capnocytophaga canimorsus is generally transmitted by bite however for the poor German man, the bacteria was transmitted by lick and ultimately led to his demise.
Three years after the unfortunate death of the German man who was literally licked to death by his pup, European researchers have found that when you let your dog lick your face, you're opening yourself up to the possibility of life-ending for you the way that it did for the German man.
17 percent of tested dog feces was discovered by researchers to contain a super strain of E. coli. This particular strand is resistant to antibiotics. You might wonder how in the world dog feces could lead to your death but when you consider that sometimes dogs eat feces and also where they're known to lick...
The German man isn't the only human to suffer severe consequences from a dog lick - these are just a few of the more well-known cases:
- In 2014, a woman died of septic shock when bacteria from her dog entered her body through a small scratch.
- In 2018, a Wisconsin man had to have his arms and legs amputated after being licked by his dog.
- In 2018, another woman died after her puppy nipped her and bacteria entered her bloodstream.
Back in 2018, Doctor Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told the New York Post, "More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue. It’s just chance."
Panicking won't do any good and while the chances your dog will infect you are slim - if you want to be on the safe side, it might be best to avoid face licks.