Capnocytophaga- Another Infectious Disease from Pets.

in StemSocial4 months ago
I was taking a walk down the street, simply going around my normal routine of exercising every evening, and after some little time, I noticed children playing with a dog, it looked good that they were spending time with their pet but my opinion changed when I moved close and I noticed the dog was a street unkempt dog with scars, I immediately knew that it wasn't safe for them to play with a stray dog like that, regardless of the fact that, the dog may be aggressive and get to hurt them, there is also the stance of the dog being infected and there are, of course, certain infections that could spread to humans from dogs without even a bite, speaking about one of those types of infection, we'll be speaking on **Capnocytophaga**, right before we get into the details on capnocytophaga, let's talk about some of the dangers of touching a stray or a street dog.

Stray dogs carry parasites like fleas, worms, and ticks and they can likely contact rabies, they also have other forms of diseases that can be transmitted to humans or other pets, and diseases can be passed down to pets from humans through contact, so when you touch a stray dog and then proceed to touch your own dog, there is a form of transmission going on there. While some of these stray dogs may look as if they do not have the capacity to hurt, they may be scared of you and their defense mechanism is often to attack.

While you may want to be nice to a stray dog, you also want to be careful, pet them from the front where they can conveniently see your hands and see that, you mean no harm. That being said, let's proceed to talk about the topic of the day.

Capnocytophaga is a very rare bacteria that is found in the saliva of canines, it is present in about 67-86% of the oral cavities of dogs. Capnocytophaga species is a very rare slow-growing, fastidious, gram-negative rod found in feline's and canine's saliva, belonging to the genus, flavobacteriacea which is a capnophilic facultative anaerobe. Reporters have concluded that there should be a great level of suspicion for capnocytophaga species amongst patients after every reported case of a dog attack, even if it is only a scratch.

Capnocytophaga germs create an opportunistic infection, which means under normal circumstances, the germs could cause infection, especially in someone who has a weak immune system. Those with a weak immune system are common in these cases;

  • Excessive drinking.
  • Spleen removal.
  • HIV or cancer.
    If you have a weak immune system, you need to be careful about interaction with pets, especially ones that are not yours and you have no idea about the record of treatment. The germ is highly common amongst dogs and cats and it can be spread to humans through a bite, dog licking an open wound, and close contact with dogs and cats.

You will be shocked to know that, these germs can also be found in the mouth and throat of humans, connected through tissues producing;

  • Eye infections.
  • Gum diseases.
  • Respiratory tract infections. The bacteria could get through into the bloodstream, leading to infection in different body parts. An infection could also lead to;
  • Blood infection (Septicemia).
  • Inflammation of heart lining (Endocarditis).
  • Eye, face, lymph nodes inflammation or brain membranes.

Capnocytophaga spp., are often susceptible to antibiotics, the resistance is most likely related to the production of beta-lactamases. Most pets are expected to be carriers of the bacterium, however, the transmission of capnocytophaga from pets to humans is almost unlikely. Even with the stand of the high-risk possibility of infection, appropriate control measures will make it possible for the transmission to be reduced.

Capnocytophaga as a bacteria is highly difficult to eradicate, one of the best-known options for the prevention of its occurrence is to, prevent any form of bite or scratch from occurring. Preventing the occurrence of a bite or a scratch is highly dependent on the;

  • Appropriately training the pet in order to prevent scratches and bites is a great necessity, the training process of a pet needs to start from the moment you bring home the pet, but even if you missed that aspect, it is still not too late as you can give your pet to a very good dog trainer.

  • Understanding how your pet functions are also extremely necessary, it is necessary for you to understand the reason why your dog may probably want to attack, does he feel threatened, does he feel insecure.Of course, know the appropriate way to go about it.

  • Children should also be taught the most appropriate way to behave around a pet so as to avoid the occurrence of a scratch or a bite, children as well must be properly supervised when with a pet.

In the case of a bite or a scratch;

  • At the instance when the scratch or the bite is noticed, the wound needs to be thoroughly washed with soap and water. If the injury is around the genital region, or if the bite is severe, instantly consult a physician for antimicrobial treatment.
    If there is a bite or scratch and you have any of the following ailments, consult a physician instantly;
  • When you have a weak or compromised immune system.
  • Chronic swelling in regions where there was a bite.
  • If you had your spleen removed.
  • The presence of liver disease, diabetes, lupus, and other chronic diseases.
    Never allow your pet to lick your body if you have a broken skin.


Any type of bite needs to be reported for treatment instantly, and the transfer of infection from a pet to a human and from a human to a pet has to be handled really seriously and reported appropriately.



That's a great blog! Never heard of this before, and I've had pets all my life. Although, if there is a scratch or accidental (no dog that bites should be around people) bite, the wound is cleaned with soap, water and hydrogen peroxide.

Of course, one should be very careful around strays. That I do know.

Thank you for this most interesting blog.

Thanks a lot @agmoore, I am into the business of bringing deep awareness about pets/animals to my friends here.

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