A mother-of-two has died from a rare infection after being bitten by a friend’s dog.
Tracy Ridout, 53, from Perth, Australia, suffered a small bite while caring for the young German Shepherd last month.
She “thought nothing of it at the time,” but after a few days felt excruciating pain and drove to Rockingham General Hospital early on August 18.
Doctors discovered she was suffering from a Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection, which was affecting her kidneys, liver and blood.
Tracy’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she died 11 days later after falling into an induced coma.
Her daughter Sophie wrote on the family fundraising page: “Unfortunately, Tracy sadly passed away today.
“She will be missed by all her friends and family.”
Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a bacterium found in the mouths of dogs and cats.
Infections in humans are very rare. Only 56 cases were reported in England and Wales last year.
The infection does not make most people sick, but it can be fatal in people with a weaker immune system, such as those taking anti-cancer medications or those infected with HIV.
Symptoms include blisters near the wound, redness, swelling, pain, and fever.
Tracy initially noticed no symptoms after the bite.
Sophie told PerthNow: “It wasn’t malicious or anything, she was playing with the dog and accidentally bit her finger instead of the toy.
“She didn’t think anything of it, she just bandaged it.”
A week after the bite, Tracy felt pain in the wound and tried to treat the wound with Nurofen and Panadol, but the drugs did not work.
After being diagnosed in hospital, she was transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital, where doctors told the family there was nothing more they could do to save her.
Sophie said: “All her organs have pretty much failed.”
On August 25, four days before her death, she was withdrawn from dialysis and doctors said they were prepared to “just let her go.”
The family is now collecting donations GoFundMe to cover Tracy’s funeral costs and bills and also raise awareness about the dangers of dog bites.
Sophie said: “Even if it’s just a small bite from the dog, which was the case with mum, just get it checked out.”