It can be a nice feeling to have a dog show affection toward you and give you kisses in the form of licks, but it turns out there is a hidden danger in those smooches, and one man nearly lost his life because of it.
Doctors believe the 71-year-old dog owner from the Canary Islands almost died from being licked by his Chihuahua. The man started not feeling well, with a fever and diarrhea that lasted for days. According to the Daily Mail, after a week, he went to the hospital where he was short of breath and coughing up mucus. Doctors took an X-ray of his chest and discovered a "dense opacity" in one of his lungs.
The dog owner, who was a former smoker with high blood pressure, lung disease and type 2 diabetes, was diagnosed with pneumonia. Worse, he had also developed sepsis, which can be deadly. He was put on an oxygen mask and wound up spending three weeks in the hospital to recover.
His physicians conducted tests to find out what caused the sickness, and results from a blood draw showed he had contracted pasteurella multocida, a bacteria often found in dogs' mouths. While people can get the bug after being bitten or scratched by a dog or cat, the man said that didn't happen to him. Instead, he caught it by getting kisses from his pet. While rare to get pneumonia from the bacteria, it can happen, especially if you let pets lick you or you share a bed with them.
Babies and the elderly are the most at risk, but anyone can catch the bug, so be careful around your furry friends.