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Dogs May Be Man's Best Friend But Can Also Be Enemy

A Texas woman has been fighting for her life after she contracted a rare infection that required the amputation of her legs and fingers from a dog bite, according to a nydailynews.com report.

The mother of four has spent nearly a month in intensive care since she was bitten on the finger trying to break up a fight between her family’s dogs on Christmas Day. It was a small bite.

Two days after the incident, she was taken to the emergency room with a high fever, vomiting, chills, and shortly thereafter her kidneys stopped working. Doctors eventually determined that she was infected with capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacterium that is normally harmless and found in about a third of dogs and cats.

Since the amputations, she has been on and off of life support and in intense pain. Doctors do not know whether she will regain use of her kidneys and do not have a definite prognosis.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and almost one in five of those who are bitten require medical attention for their injuries. Many dog bites require expensive plastic surgery, lost wages and suffering.

It is estimated that there are more than 1.4 million dogs in NYC. In 2005, close to 4,000 dog bites were reported, according to nycoffleash.com. These bites can cause life-threatening injuries to people and are often caused by domestic pets rather than strays.

New York law is complex regarding the liability of dog bites, and insurance companies do not typically pay out awards that give a victim all the compensation for which they are entitled. If you or someone you love is bitten by a dog in New York, contact a skilled New York dog bite attorney immediately. More information on NYC dog bite law is available here.

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