Woman Loses Hands, Feet From Bacterial Infection Caused By Dog’s Saliva

CUMMING, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) — A cancer survivor is battling for her life after losing her hands and feet to a rare bacterial infection that is found primarily in the saliva of dogs.

According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Hannah Rinehart, 32, has been in the intensive care unit at Northside Hospital in Cumming, Ga., since July 3 after suffering a 103-degree fever. On July 26, Rinehart had her hands and feet amputated due to capnocytophaga, an infection usually found in the saliva of dogs.

Mark Rinehart, Hannah’s husband, believes the infection came from their 1-year-old dog, but doesn’t know if the dog ever bit her and punctured her skin.

“It was basically like being struck by lightning,” Mark Rinehart told the Daily Post. “It doesn’t happen.”

Mark Rinehart has been updating his wife’s condition on Twitter and Facebook on near daily basis.

“The most immediate step, though, is ensuring that we are with Hannah as the sedation wears off,” he posted on Hannah’s Facebook page, as she has been in a drug-induced coma for nearly a month. “She made a face at the RN tonight that seemed to be an attempt at a smile, and she was responding to commands like ‘stick out your tongue’.”

Mark Rinehart also added on the Facebook page that the bacteria infection led to septic shock.

Hannah Rinehart previously suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and according to the Daily Post, her cancer was in remission for seven years.

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