A GRANDMA had her legs and six fingers amputated after a small nip from her pet dog left her with a deadly infection.
Kathy Roberts’ limbs turned black after a blood infection, likely contracted from her dog’s saliva, spread throughout her body.
Doctors were forced to amputate her fingers the day after her 60th birthday and then removed her legs just two weeks later.
“It was hard, it was painful to have legs one day and not have legs the next,” she said.
The gran, from Oklahoma, US, started feeling unwell in October 2018, but initially dismissed her symptoms as flu.
“I was not sick at my stomach, no sore throat, none of those symptoms but just very, very tired,” Roberts she said.
But her husband rushed her to the emergency room when her blood pressure dropped and she started dragging her leg.
At first doctors had no clue what was wrong, so they had asked to her recount everything that had happened in the days before she became ill.
Finally, she remembered she had been nipped by her two-year-old Maltese foster dog while feeding him chicken from her hand.
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“Just a slight little scratch of the skin there and it wasn’t real bad at all, so never thought two things about it,” Kathy told Oklahoma News 4.
Dr Karen Allen, who treated Kathy at St. Anthony Hospital, said: “It seemed inconsequential at the time but that led us to the diagnosis of the infection.”
Kathy had washed the bite and put on triple-antibiotic ointment – but it wasn’t enough.
Medics ran blood tests and discovered she’d become infected with a bacterial pathogen known as capnocytophaga canimorsus.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the bacteria is found in the saliva of healthy dogs and cats.
One 2014 study from Japan found the bacteria to be present in 69 percent of dogs and 54 percent of cats.
The bacteria can be transmitted to humans through bites and licks, which get into the skin via an open wound.
After pinpointing the cause of the infection, doctors had to work fast to ensure the gangrene did not spread.
“They treated me as if I was a burn patient,” Kathy said. “I had huge blisters and my legs were black.”
Less than a month after the bite – six of fingers were amputated.
Two weeks after that surgery, her legs were also amputated.
Kathy was fitted for prosthetics about three months after her amputations.
She now has new legs – and new fingers.
If you are bitten by an animal, doctors say that you should seek medical advice as soon as possible, even if you think it’s minor.