Wisconsin woman's death attributed to infection after dog nip

Monday, August 13, 2018
Wisconsin woman's death attributed to infection from a dog lick
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Wisconsin woman's death attributed to infection from a dog lick

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -- A Wisconsin woman died after she got an infection, and doctors believe it was from a bacteria transferred to her when her puppy nipped her.

Sharon Larson had just gotten a puppy. It nipped at her, causing a minor cut. A day after taking him to the vet for a check-up, Sharon was rushed to the hospital.

"I was told she could get struck by lightning four times and live, win the lottery twice," Sharon's husband Dan Larson said to WTMJ-TV. "That's how rare this is supposed to be."

Dan is still in shock. He thought Sharon had the flu.

"General antibiotics that they put her on didn't do anything," he said.

Within two days in the hospital, Sharon was dead at age 58.

Dan said, "I feel like I got robbed, lost my right arm, my best friend."

Doctors told him she tested positive for capnocytophaga. They say the bacteria, found in the saliva of most dogs, cats, even some humans, is rarely problematic and almost never deadly.

But when certain people come in contact with it, it can have devastating consequences, like for Sharon.

"I had no knowledge," said Sharon's son Steven Larson.

Steven wants more answers since there is no real tracking of how many cases there have been.

This isn't the first case of an infection from dog saliva this year in Wisconsin. Another man lost his hands and legs, so that doctors could save his life.

Man loses arms and legs to bacterial infection transferred by dog saliva