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Man hospitalised after catching a rare bug from his pet Chihuahua

A man was hospitalised after catching a rare bug from his pet Chihuahua.

Doctors believe the 71-year-old, from the Canary Islands, may have caught a rare bug from being licked by his dog.

He spent three weeks in hospital and was given an oxygen mask to help him breathe.

The man, who wasn’t identified, also developed sepsis, the body’s violent internal reaction to an infection that can prove deadly.

Before seeking help, the man had also suffered days of diarrhoea and a high fever. Yet he didn’t seek help for a week, according to doctors at Hospital Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, La Gomera.

The man, who had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and a lung disease, told doctors he hadn’t been scratched or bitten by his dog.

Medics rushed him for a chest x-ray which showed a ‘dense opacity’ on his right lung.

Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia complicated by septic shock and he was urgently given an oxygen mask to help regulate his breathing alongside antibiotics injected daily.

Follow-up blood tests revealed he had contracted pasteurella multocida, a common bacteria found in a dog’s mouth.

Medics said pneumonia ‘is rarely produced’ by the bug, although it typically triggers soft-tissue infections following bits and scratches from dogs and cats.

The man, however, told doctors he had not been scratched or bitten by his dog.

Medics warned that sharing a bed with a dog, kissing them, and letting them lick you were ‘risk behaviours’.

The man made a ‘good recovery’ six months after being discharged. His tale was published in the journal Respiratory Medicine Case Reports.