We’ve just posted a new info sheet about Capnocytophaga. One member of this bacterial group in particular, Capnocytophaga canimorsus, makes the news periodically because it can cause devastating infection in some individuals, like the Ottawa woman who lost three limbs after one of her own dogs accidentally bit her. This kind of severe infection, which is also sometimes called dog bite septicemia, is actually quite rare, but people with certain risk factors such as diabetes, alcoholism, and particularly lack of a functional spleen are at much higher risk. The bacterium very commonly lives in the mouths of dogs and cats, and is considered a part of the normal oral microflora in these animals. People are therefore commonly exposed to Capnocytophaga, yet infection is rare, but because it can be so catastrophic it’s important to know the facts, especially if you or someone you know may be at higher risk.
You can read more about Capnocytophaga on the new info sheet, which you can find along with all our other info sheets on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page. You can also read about Capnocytophaga in the posts in our archives.