A mother-of-four became a triple amputee after her dog bit her and triggered life-threatening sepsis.
Christine Caron was playing tug-of-war with her four dogs on May 16, 2013, when her three-year-old Shih Tzu, Buster, accidentally bit her hand.
Ms Caron, of Ottawa, Canada, went to the hospital six days later after suffering flu-like symptoms and vomiting overnight. She collapsed on arrival.
She woke up from a coma three weeks later to find out she was battling sepsis - the body's response to an infection, thought to have been from a dog bite.
The 55-year-old was told that she would need to have her right arm and both legs amputated, as sepsis can cause tissues to die.
Ms Caron has since been learning to live with prosthetics and now does all she can to raise awareness for sepsis.
Christine Caron, 55, was playing tug-of-war with her four dogs on May 16, 2013 when her three-year-old Shih Tzu, Buster (on the right), accidentally bit her hand. Pictured after she had the amputations
Ms Caron woke up from a coma to find out she was battling sepsis - a deadly condition which can be caused by an infected animal bite - and that she would need her legs and one arm amputated as a result. Pictured in hospital after surgery
The mother-of-four, of Ottawa, Canada, has since been learning to live with prosthetics (pictured) and is doing all she can to raise awareness for sepsis
Ms Caron said: 'I was just playing with my dog in the garden when he accidentally nipped my hand.
'I didn't think it would be an issue as I had cleaned it immediately and it didn't become infected.
'I had been suffering with bronchitis for a few months, but three days after the dog bite I started to experience a few dizzy spells and became more unwell from there.'
On May 21, Ms Caron felt extremely weak, winded and nauseous while at work, so went home and fell asleep on the couch.
She said: 'I tried to go to the emergency clinic, but it had closed just moments before, so I went home and got straight into bed - and this was the last thing I remembered for months.'
Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection.
Bites and scratches can result in a bacterial infection which occasionally can trigger sepsis.
An animal bite that breaks your skin exposes you to multiple bacteria, both from bacteria that may be on your skin and bacteria in the animal’s mouth.
If the bite barely breaks the skin, you have a better chance of cleaning the wound well.
Dog bites are the most common ones related to pets, but cat bites cause around 15 per cent of animal bites in the US. At first, they may not appear to cause as much damage as dog bites, but their smaller teeth and deep punctures can make it hard to clean a wound out properly.
If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, be sure to clean the wound thorough with warm running water. Keep the wound clean and dry until it is scabbed over, to reduce the risk of infection.
According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites in the United States over the course of a year and almost 800,000 people need medical care as a result of a bite.
Source: Sepsis Alliance
After trying to sleep it off, Ms Caron woke up at 11.30pm with what she thought were flu symptoms and went to the hospital the following morning.
Symptoms of sepsis include slurred speech or confusion, extreme shivering or muscle pain, not passing urine, severe breathlessness, and having mottled or discoloured skin.
Ms Caron said: 'I collapsed in the emergency room at 7am.
'The next thing I knew I was in the hospital being awoken from an induced coma on June 13.
'This is when I was told that I had suffered from sepsis and the only way they would be able to save me was if they amputated my arms and legs.'
An animal bite can cause an infection as it allows bacteria