I don't know too much about rabies, but I can speak first hand about capnocytophaga canimorsus because I got it in July of 2011 and it is no picnic. I am a 51 year old female and I never experienced so much physical pain in my life. Every fiber of my body hurt. My joints got stiff and it was hard to move. I had a fever of 104. I had red circles all over and flu-like symptoms. I couldn't think straight. I didn't eat or sleep for five straight days. I could honestly say that if I took the pain from all five of my natural childbirths, my 25 years of migraines, my sinus surgery, and whatever other aches and pains I may have had and rolled them all up into one bundle and multiplied them by a hundred, it would still not hurt as much as the capnocytophaga canimorsus hurt.
While I was hospitalized, I had around the clock antibiotics through an IV, along with pain meds. I had so many tests before and after the diagnosis that I can't remember them all. The second day in the hospital they had to do a TEE, test which was going down my throat with a scope to check out my heart to see if it got damaged. They checked to see if I was born without a spleen but I do have one. After my stay in the hospital, I had to be on two more antibiotics for 30 more days. All the meds really messed up my stomach and now over a year later I'm still dealing with GERD and gastritis caused from the meds. I'm still having trouble swallowing and they just had to dilate my throat last month. I still have shortness of breath and they are trying to figure that one out. I didn't get bit by a dog. I got licked by my dog and must have had a small cut for it to enter my bloodstream. The infectious disease doctor on my case said that I was the only case he has had in his 35 years of practice.
Capnocytophaga canimorsus is very rare as well as very serious and it can be very deadly. I was told by one doctor that I had someone watching over me! I could have easily died, especially when the ER sent me home both times when I went in and my own doctor sent me home as well. They knew I was seriously sick but they couldn't figure it out. I realize that it's very rare and hard to diagnose but I was way too sick to be sent home.
After a week of trying to get help and getting worse every minute that passed, it was the hospital that called and said for me to go admit myself as soon as possible, and that they had a room ready and waiting and doctors standing by. I guess they saw a gram negative in my blood which meant bad news. Then I finally got under the care of the most wonderful infectious disease doctor around. It still took about two more weeks to get a diagnosis even though they had an idea at that point. They said I would feel better in a year and it's going on 14 months. I think the massive doses of antibiotics have caused some of my current problems, but I'm still worried about the shortness of breath. I hope they can figure that one out soon. I'm tired of expensive medical tests and doctor appointments but I'm very happy to be alive.
I just recently asked one doctor why the heck they didn't admit me to the hospital on the first trip to the ER, and he told me that even though you can be super sick, if your heart checks out of they probably will send you home. I no longer trust hospitals and a lot of the doctors I saw throughout this ordeal. You really have to watch out for yourself and go on your gut instinct. Now I can't wait to get a real good freeze to kill all the mosquitoes because I'm just a little paranoid about the West Nile virus that people are getting. I don't ever want to be that badly sick in my life again. And by the way, I still have both my little dogs and I love them very much.