Rare bacteria from dog bite leads to amputation for Leander woman


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News and photojournalist DEREK RASOR

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE


Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 10:51 AM

AUSTIN -- A Leander woman is fighting for her life after an infection ravaged her body and doctors were forced to amputate her legs and fingers.

Robin Sullins was bit by a family member's dog on Christmas Day and two days later was admitted to the ER at the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. She was transferred to University Medical Center Brackenridge on December 28.

Family members say the dog bit her on the hand and the leg leaving behind minor cuts.

Doctors say the dog transmitted a type of bacteria called capnocytophaga canimorsus. It is found in roughly a third of all healthy cats and dogs, and doctors say it is not normally a cause for concern.

In Texas, two to three cases of capnocytophaga canimorsus are reported each year, most of them are mild.

Doctors say typically it's only when someone has an underlying health condition that an animal bite can turn into something more serious. 

Robin's family is rallying around her, praying for healing and staying optimistic.

"We are all devastated by it, but we all feel like we should hang in there for Robin and be strong for her," said Robin's mother Carol Wilson. 

Wilson describes her daughter as active and vivacious and is confident she will stay strong no matter her health condition.

"Last night I was sitting with her, and I was writing a few things down - like when she was born, counting her little fingers and her toes and now she doesn't have any, but she has her spirit," said an emotional Wilson. 

The family started a website for Robin to update her progress and raise money for her mounting medical costs. Robin did not have health insurance when she got sick.


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