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Christine Caron was playing a game with her Shih Tzu mix when she got bitten. Under what some would consider rare and abnormal circumstances that one bite sent her body into septic shock and cut off blood supply to her extremities.

As a result, doctors had to amputate both of her legs above the knee and her left arm just below the elbow. Despite the fact that her right arm was left intact, she was having trouble moving it. In light of this case, there has been talk about causes, dog temperament and what could have been done; so here is some food for thought.

Dog Mouth Bacteria

The common argument that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans is a popular misconception as both human and dog saliva are loaded with bacteria. Some of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth includes E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus both of which are extremely pathogenic to humans. In fact, Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for the kind of sepsis that Caron experienced, which included her limbs turning black from lack of blood flow.

Dangerous Breed Argument

Regardless of the breed, dog bites can have bad implications such as tetanus or rabies. However, infections like this from a single dog bite are rare but not impossible. Worldwide dog bite statistics are hard to come by and are a bit controversial partly because they seem to feed into breed bias.

While Pit Bulls are the breed of choice to label as aggressive, every dog on the “dangerous dog” list has been responsible for attacks on humans throughout history. The fact that Caron was bitten by a breed that was not on the danger list and was a household pet makes a lot of the breed bias arguments shaky at best.

Even with doing everything right, accidents can still happen. Apart from choosing the right animal for your home, it’s always good not to scare your dog or provoke them in any way. Should the dog bite, it’s highly recommended to head to the doctor immediately for evaluation and treatment, which could include antibiotics. While one can expect tragedy in cities like Juarez, Mexico, this kind of medical nightmare in your own home is even scarier. There is a chance that if Caron had been able to seek medical treatment quicker, it may have lessened her trauma.

Photo Credit: Fuschia Foot via photopin cc