‘Biting the hand that feeds’: fever and altered sensorium following a dog bite

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Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection is the most severe and rapidly progressive bacterial infection transmitted by dog bite and fortunately is very rare. The authors describe a 68-year-old gentleman who presented in an acute confusional state 2 days after having been bitten on the left hand by a dog. Despite immediate broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics, he developed significant sequelae including disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, microvascular emboli leading to peripheral necrosis, widespread local tissue destruction and septic arthritis.

Our case illustrates a life-threatening presentation of infection with C canimorsus, which is known as ‘the dog bite organism’. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is key to survival.

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