Dog Bite Leads to Serious Illness, Amputation for Texas Mother

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A Texas mother is fighting for her life after receiving a bite from her family dog. According to New York Daily News, Robin Sullins became infected with the normally harmless bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus when she was bitten by her dog.

The bacteria, which is found in a third of all cats and dogs, led to a rare infection. This infection has put the mother of four in ICU for the past month, and has required that both her legs and several of her fingers be amputated.

Sullins received the bite while breaking up a scuffle between her dogs on Christmas. Two days after the bite, Sullins went to the hospital with vomiting, chills and a fever.

"She immediately went down hard," Sullins' sister, Angi Sullins, told the Daily News. "Her body started turning black and blue. Her kidneys shut down. All of her vitals plummeted."

The Texas resident was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, where doctors struggled to identify the bacteria plaguing Sullins' blood. They soon discovered the bacteria to be Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which is usually harmless.

Now doctors are working to keep Sullins alive, putting her on life support. Her family is doing their best to stay positive and hopeful, staying by Sullins' bedside every day. Family members have also created a website to help raise money for Sullins' extensive medical costs.

Dog bites can happen to anyone, including families with children and loyal pets. To help keep you and your loved one safe, remember that dogs are territorial creatures. If a canine is barking and seems threatened by your presence, give it space. Make sure you and your children always ask permission before petting a dog, because not all pets are as friendly to strangers as they may appear. Additionally, never judge a dog by its breed, but by its actions.


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We all have our own "Flora" on the outside (skin) of our bodies. Some of it is not meant to enter into our bodies. When it does, the body reacts. Each of us respond differently in each case. Common sense and good cleaning practices are the rule of the day. Keep a close watch on minor injuries and seek professional help for moderate to serious injury. Again, each of us respond differently. To say that this is cause for a heighten concern over your pets, I for one would say no more so than any other time. Common sense mostly..

January 23 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anytime you get any kind of a break in the skin from a bite or scratch from a cat or dog, it should be immediately cleaned with peroxide and alcohol! If let untreated, a serious infection can happen!

January 23 2013 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

everyone who comes on my property goes right over to my dog if she is tied out in the yard
She barks and they want to prove to her they are not a threat I guess
even though my dog may look like an oversized stuffed animal
she has a full set of large teeth and her toenails are as big and strong as a grizzly bear's!
Her breed has been specialized as guardians for centuries
she has never bitten, but I wish people would take my word for it and pay attention to the beware signs!

January 23 2013 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My dog is a maltese an he loves to play.He likes to bite your fingers and holds on your fingers till you take it out if his mouth.
Can this be harmful playing with him?

January 23 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why doesn't the article explain why the bacteria is usually 'harmless' but in this case is life-threatening?

January 23 2013 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

t's the wrong bacteria meeting the right immune system at the right time. Remember the girl who cut her leg while swinging from a rope and went into a creek down South? Or the chef in Colorado who cut her finger with her knife? Both had to have extreme amputations to survive what are normally harmless bacteria that are found everywhere. In the case of the girl down South, it was a bacteria found in almost all streams, and if I recall usually is more likely to produce intestinal issues than infection. With the chef it was a bacteria everyone carries on their skin. They don't really know why, in these rare instances, the bacteria explodes and produces so much toxin that it kills flesh... It gets out ahead of antibiotics, etc.. Odds are it has something to do with something else already going on in the person's body.

January 23 2013 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg Narten

i hope no one comes away from this with a bad view of dogs.

January 23 2013 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But what is causing this to turn so deadly? I spent 25 years working with cats and dogs daily and was bitten hundreds of times. This is scary.

January 23 2013 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i had this last year. the dog was one i knew not to worry was just a small nip. within 24 hours, i was ready to die.i literaly slept through nov, dec, jan and feb.i'm slowly coming back. my energy level is at an all time low. i still am in so much pain. i still get nausiated and have a very bad taste in my mouth. i have since found out most people die from this. i question why i was chosen to live.i know i'm one of the lucky ones

January 23 2013 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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