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Infection from dog bite costs woman legs, fingers

In a story that may be of interest to our readers here in New Jersey, a woman from another state lost both of her legs and her fingers after she broke up a dog fight between her two pets. Her family thought initially that she had simply sustained an insignificant dog bite on her finger and a scratch; however, her family took her to the hospital after she began vomiting and suffering a fever a couple of days after the bite.

Before doctors finally determined that she had a serious infection, she was on life support. The doctors had to amputate, and the family is now seeking help for her medical bills. The woman has four children and is a dog lover.

Admittedly, getting compensation because of the dog bite itself might be difficult since the animals involved were her own pets. (Whether the woman has a medical malpractice case is another question altogether.) Nevertheless, the case deserves attention from New Jersey pet owners and dog bite victims alike.

The woman contracted the infectious bacteria that cost her both of her legs and her fingers from her dog's saliva. While the bacteria is somewhat common in dogs, it is a rare case when a human contracts it and experiences severe symptoms.

Nevertheless, pet owners in New Jersey need to be aware that if their dog bites another person, they may be accountable for all injuries that the person suffers as a result, even those injuries some might think are uncommon or unexpected. In this case, a dog bite left a mother facing permanent disfigurement and a major handicap, not to mention considerable pain and suffering.

Source: Fox News, "Texas mom loses legs, fingers after contracting rare infection from minor dog bite," Jan. 21, 2013

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